BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) – Republican delegates on Friday placed State Sen Scott Renfroe and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck on the primary ballot to replace Rep. Cory Gardner, who is stepping down from his House seat in a highly conservative district to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen Mark Udall.
Renfroe and Buck will likely join two other Republicans on the June primary ballot in the Fourth Congressional District, which covers the eastern plains, the southeastern edge of the state and parts of Douglas County.
Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and Steve Laffey, former Cranston, R.I., mayor, have gathered petitions to make the ballot.
Buck and Renfroe sought their spots on the ballot through the state Republican Party Assembly and garnered the minimum 30 percent of votes from the body needed to make the cut.
Whoever wins the Republican primary will be the heavy favorite to win November’s general election in the district where Republicans vastly outnumber Democrats.
Renfroe told delegates he is a small businessman, not a politician. “You and I know this country is heading in the wrong direction,” he told the crowd.
Buck dropped out of the running against Udall after Gardner entered the race. He touted Gardner’s endorsement.
“I’m a fighter,” Buck said in his speech. “I will go to Washington, D.C., and I will fight the professional politicians and we will win.”
Kirkmeyer also addressed the crowd, although she released her delegates to vote for the other candidates. She stressed her opposition to abortion rights and gun control along with her background as a farmer and her willingness to battle liberal interests in the capitol.
Primary challengers against two incumbent Republican congressmen also garnered enough delegate support to make the ballot. Rep. Doug Lamborn will face retired Air Force officer Bentley Rayburn while Rep. Scott Tipton will be challenged by farmer David Cox.
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