Republican Ken Buck announced today what should come as little surprise: Rep. Cory Gardner has endorsed his campaign to replace him in CD-4.
Buck made the announcement on Twitter this morning (see image at right). While the endorsement isn't a surprise for ideological reasons, it still seems a bit strange to play right into the hands of the campaign of Sen. Mark Udall, which has been branding Gardner as a younger version of Buck.
Just a few weeks ago, Buck withdrew from the U.S. Senate race in order to make way for Gardner and to make his own run for CD-4. We've heard rumors since that "backroom deal" was first made public that Buck may have approached Gardner at some point to consider the campaign switcheroo. Others have attributed the maneuver to national GOP strategist Karl Rove, with less concern for Buck's future.
Whatever the order of discussion, the deal would need to include Gardner's support for Buck in CD-4 for Buck to not get swamped by primary challenger. Here's the email from Buck's campaign announcing the news:
I am writing today because I wanted to let you know that I am supporting Ken Buck as he runs to be our next representative in Congress.
Washington’s lack of commonsense and leadership grows daily. In the many years I have known Ken, his dedication to helping others as a District Attorney, coach and community member, have shown me that he will help fill this void. Ken will work hard to put Colorado and America back on track.
I look forward to working with Ken to return fiscal responsibility, free-market economic ideas and commonsense Colorado values to Washington. Will you join me in supporting Ken?
We cannot be successful without your help. Anything you give will be used to introduce voters to Ken, combat the negative attacks and spread our message. The time to act is now. Show your support today.
Ken will be a great, independent leader for the 4th Congressional District.
With a plethora of Republicans jockeying for the right to win the GOP nomination in CD-4, it will be interesting to see if any of the candidates start bad-mouthing Gardner now that he has officially backed Buck. With the caucus season underway and the June Primary just around the corner, there's little time left to consider pulling punches.