Colorado Republican Ken Buck plans to challenge GOP's direction under Trump as he leaves the House

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Ken Buck has gained national prominence as a Republican congressman fed up with Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

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Lowest price on the web! This all-in-one PDF app is $70 for lifeFILE - Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., arrives as House Republicans hold a closed-door meeting to vote by secret ballot on their candidate for speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)that he would not seek reelection, he began with the type of criticism of Democratic policies that is standard fare for a hard-line conservative.

Buck is hardly the first GOP lawmaker to step away from Capitol Hill in frustration in recent years. But unlike other outspoken House Republicans who grew alienated from their colleagues before leaving office, such as former Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming or Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Buck hails from the far-right House Freedom Caucus, putting him at the center of the conservative movement.

“Ken is a constitutionalist who tries to make good decisions based on principle,” said Texas Rep. Chip Roy, a fellow caucus member."I think he’s an important voice, and I’ll certainly miss him.” Buck's experience in constitutional law predates his time teaching law school. After completing a bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and a law degree at the University of Wyoming, Buck worked for then-Wyoming Rep. Dick Cheney, who was the top Republican on the committee investigating the Reagan administration for the Iran-Contra affair.

Buck reentered national politics as the tea party gained prominence and he ran seat against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010. Buck lost, and Colorado, then a battleground state, has become increasingly dominated by Democrats. “I’ve always found him to be incredibly straightforward, intellectually curious, willing to disagree without being disagreeable,” said Rep. Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat who represents a district adjacent to Buck's.

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