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July 6, 2013
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Buck mulls another run at Senate

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is weighing another run for U.S. Senate, this time challenging Democrat Mark Udall in 2014.

Buck for months has been mentioned as a likely candidate for state attorney general, but in recent days several high-profile Republicans have announced their candidacy for the office and the talk has switched to a Senate bid.

“We have been talking about it, and I’ll leave it there,” his wife, state Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, confirmed Tuesday.

But, she said, no decisions about her husband’s political future have been made and the focus continues to be his health. Ken Buck announced in March he was being treated for lymphoma. He announced two months later there was no detectable cancer in his body, but said he still had more chemotherapy scheduled. Perry Buck said his last round of chemo is Friday.

Buck lost to Democrat Michael Bennet in 2010 in a U.S. Senate race many Republicans thought they had locked up. Bennet had been appointed to the seat in 2009 and the mood across the country favored the GOP. But some last minute missteps by Buck, particularly his appearance on “Meet the Press” where he compared homosexuality to alcoholism, helped Bennet, who won 48 percent to 44 percent.

Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio said if Buck takes on Udall, he expects Buck to come up short again. Palacio was surprised about a potential Senate run, saying he heard Buck was considering the attorney general’s race.

Two Republicans — House Minority Leader Mark Waller of Colorado Springs and Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman — already have announcedthey are vying for their party’s nomination for the open attorney general’s seat. Former Adams County District Attorney Don Quick is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Former Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams said he hasn’t talked to Buck about the Senate race, but noted should he jump into the race Buck’s already been vetted.

Wadhams knows a little something about a candidate losing one U.S. Senate race and winning the next. Republican John Thune of South Dakota in 2002 lost his senate bid, but two years later, with Wadhams as his campaign manager, unseated Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

“John Thune was a much stronger candidate the second time,” Wadhams said. “Now that’s not Colorado, but Ken came awfully close last time.”

On the flip side, Wadhams knows a little something about a U.S. Senate candidate losing two races a row. Democrat Tom Strickland of Denver lost in 1996 and 2002 to Republican Wayne Allard of Loveland, whose campaigns were run by Wadhams.

Udall, of Eldorado Springs, was first elected to the Senate in 2008 in a Democratic sweep year. The latest fundraising totalsshow Udall has $3.4 million cash on hand, and raised $1.3 million in the quarter that ended Sunday.

So far, no Republicans have officially announced they are taking him on, but several names continue to surface, including state Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs and state Rep. Amy Stephens of Monument.


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My Windsor Now Updated Jul 6, 2013 07:45PM Published Jul 11, 2013 12:36PM Copyright 2013 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.