Ken Buck challenged in 2018 primary race by former Lone Tree mayor | MyWindsorNow.com

Ken Buck challenged in 2018 primary race by former Lone Tree mayor

Tommy Simmons
tsimmons@greeleytribune.com

Rep. Ken Buck has a challenger in the Republican primary in Colorado's 4th Congressional District.

The U.S. representative — who currently represents all of Weld County — will face Jim Gunning, a former mayor of Lone Tree, for the Republican nomination to the district, which includes much of eastern Colorado and stretches from the state's northern to southern borders. Gunning announced his bid for the Republican nomination Friday.

Bringing together the different cultures and environments of the vast district is one of the things Gunning said he feels he can do well.

"I think we need to be looking for leadership that can bring people together," he said. "My whole career has been about working with people and communication."

Buck, a Windsor Republican, is no stranger to running as an outsider. In his 2010 bid for U.S. Senate, he won a primary election in a race against establishment-favorite Jane Norton, who drew endorsements from the likes of former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and the American Conservative Union. Norton was not an incumbent but she was heavily favored. Buck later narrowly lost the general election to incumbent Michael Bennet, before going on to win election in the 4th Congressional District in 2014. Buck was re-elected in 2016.

According to a news release from his campaign, Gunning launched his campaign Friday with a speech in Castle Rock.

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"Congress continues to exhaust their opportunities to serve the American people," Gunning said in the release. "If elected, I'm going to D.C. to advocate on your behalf using the lessons I've learned negotiating with bankers on Wall Street, state officials here in Colorado, developers and neighbors."

Buck said he himself only heard about Gunning's candidacy earlier this week.

"I've known Jim for years, and he's a good guy," Buck said. "I look forward to a good debate on the issues with him."

Buck said if reelected in 2018, he will continue to fight national debt and federal spending.

So far, Buck and Gunning are the only two Republican candidates running to represent the district.

The election

The deadline for candidates to enter the race for Republican nominee to Colorado’s 4th congressional district is Mach 20, 2018. The primary election itself, in which Republican voters will choose a candidate to run against the Democratic candidate, will take place June 26, 2018.