Politicians from both parties, as well as the punditocracy in Colorado, are shaking their heads over the stunning and never-expected outcome Friday of the Republican assembly (convention) in the Centennial State's 4th District.
With 183 votes (62%) to 114 (38%) for four-term Rep. Kenneth Buck, R-Colo., political newcomer and Elbert County real estate broker Bob Lewis secured the top line of the Republican primary June 28.
Buck's incumbency notwithstanding, his near-demise at the assembly was particularly surprising because he is known as a stalwart conservative from both his voting record in Congress (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 98%) and his almost-successful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Lewis so far does not have a website, and reporters had to scramble to find a picture of the fledgling candidate.
Sources in Colorado who spoke to Newsmax said Buck's embarrassing performance at the party conclave was his endorsement of "never Trumper" Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for renomination and his criticism of skeptics about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
"Buck publicly supported Liz Cheney because of his long time association with the Cheney family and that certainly irritated many conservatives and Trump loyalists," former State Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams told Newsmax.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Wyoming Law School in 1986, the young Buck was hired by then-Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyo., to work on the Iran-Contra investigation in Congress. He has long cited his gratitude to Cheney for launching his career, and, in 2010, the former vice president endorsed Buck's Senate candidacy early.
Liz Cheney, who now holds her father's old congressional seat, faces stiff opposition for renomination and is opposed by Donald Trump, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and more than 100 House Republicans.
Lewis also hit Buck hard for referring to skeptics about the 2020 presidential election outcome as "conspiracy theorists." Along with being a prominent businessman and community leader in Elbert County, Lewis is a graduate of the non-profit Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR) to train political leaders in Colorado.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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