State Sen. Scott Renfroe of Greeley announced Thursday he will challenge Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat.
“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support I’ve received in recent days. That’s why I’m honored to announce my intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District,” said Renfroe in a news release.
“I believe my background in small business, education and my extensive hands-on experience as a citizen legislator will bring some much needed common sense to Congress.”
Congressman Cory Gardner, the Yuma Republican, decided Wednesday to give up his House seat and challenge incumbent Mark Udall, a Democrat, in the U.S. Senate race.
Weld County commissioner Sean Conway, another local Republican, said Thursday he is “seriously looking” at running.
Others mentioned as possible GOP candidates in the race are state Reps. Tim Dore of Elizabeth, Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff of Pueblo and Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling; and former state treasurer Mark Hillman.
The process to elect delegates to the 4th Congressional assembly begins Tuesday with precinct caucuses, the first step in putting candidates on the ballot.
Conway said Thursday that he is still deciding what to do.
Conway said he spoke with a number of people who asked him to consider the position, but he would also have to give up a job he loves as commissioner.
Whoever represents the 4th Congressional District, Conway said his priority is to keep an engaged Republican in that seat who will fight for energy, agriculture, water and transportation issues.
Conway said he is coincidentally headed to Washington, D.C. today for an annual National Association of Counties conference, and will spend time on the Hill deciding if this is the right move.
“I’ve been on the commission for five years now. I’m able to get things done on a daily basis,” Conway said. “As dysfunctional as Washington, D.C., is right now, I’ve got to work out in my mind whether that is something at this stage in life I want to go back to.”
Conway worked for former U.S. Sens. Bill Armstrong, Hank Brown and Wayne Allard of Colorado.
Buck, who narrowly lost the U.S. Senate race in 2010, said he realizes there are plenty of good Republicans in the 4th District and it could be a battle for the GOP nomination.
Democrat Vic Meyers, who already has announced he is running in the 4th, said it doesn’t matter who his opponent is.
“I’m running for the people, all of the people regardless of party, in the 4th Congressional District,” he said.
He faces an uphill battle, in terms of voter registration: 136,416 Republicans; 93,995 Democrats, and 136,416 unaffiliated voters, according to the secretary of state.
Lynn Bartels of The Denver Post contributed to this report.