OPINION | Why I’m exploring a run against Rep. Ken Buck

I am no stranger to politics, having lived in Colorado and been a constituent of Colorado’s 4th Congressional District most of my life. Growing up in a staunchly Republican family, ranching, cattle-feeding and farming on the Northeastern plains of Colorado, I was inspired by a mother, Valera Lea, who has actively campaigned and supported a long parade of Colorado elected officials, such as Rep. Jim Johnson (R), Sen. Hank Brown (R) and Sen. Bill Armstrong (R), her whole life.

As such, I am no stranger to what is expected of a Colorado Republican representative in Washington, D.C., serving the 4th District.

As a third-generation cattle rancher, I look across the district’s landscape today and see a stray. They are easy to spot in the open range as cows wander off far from the herd, leaving themselves alone and vulnerable. But how does one stray in politics? How does one who profits off a book that drones on about draining the swamp get lost in the swamp?

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) may soon be the case study in these rhetorical questions.

Republicans in almost every county in my district are livid about the recent reports about Buck that are coming out of New York and Washington media outlets, at a time when Colorado desperately needs Republican leadership. Colorado needs a unified voice and message from our Republican delegation now more than ever. When the good citizens of this congressional district look for this leadership, they see a Colorado congressman on CNN or MSNBC sounding more like former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) than Bill Armstrong.

One would expect to see a stalwart congressional defender of Republicanism on the national stage, one standing with a Republican president or the Republican Speaker of the U.S. House. A 4th District constituent should expect to see a man with his conservative armor on ready to fight the liberal, progressive left that is driving our country over a dangerous cliff to destruction.

Instead, our district’s patriots see placating and pandering to Democratic leaders and appointees who seem determined to send this country into ruination, with additional reports of a man already looking for his next job in the swamp.

What is going on in our nation’s capital?

I am afraid that self-serving, egotistical interests may have caused an outlier to appear out on the open range in Washington. It is time to get a congressman who will ride for the brand and get on with the business of rebuilding Colorado Republicanism — something that the GOP base and unaffiliated voters alike can be proud of in a time when most folks are disgusted with what is coming out of Washington, D.C.

Many constituents from across state House District 63, located in the heart of the 4th District, are reaching out to me and saying it is time for a change. These folks are asking me to saddle up and ride for the Republican brand.

In response, I am setting up an exploratory committee to look into this path for my future in public service. This is a big decision and responsibility that I do not take lightly. I stand ready to don the conservative armor, to fight for our nation’s and our children’s future, to never saddle up with the political foe and to never give up on our Republican principles and values.

God Bless America and God save Colorado from the progressive left. Most importantly, help us all with confronting and defeating the cesspool that causes those who stay in Washington too long to stray from the Republican herd or sell out and become a comfortable part of the D.C. establishment.

Rep. Richard Holtorf is the Colorado State House Republican Whip, House District 63.

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