BROOMFIELD, Colo. — State Sen. Scott Renfroe won top line on the June primary ballot over Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck in the fight to replace Comgressman Cory Gardner in Colorado’s deeply conservative Fourth Congressional District.
Gardner, R-Yuma, decided in late February to challenge Sen. Mark Udall for his seat.
Renfroe won 54 percent of the 673 votes cast by GOP delegates from across the sprawling Fourth District, which includes Weld County and all of the states eastern plains.
Buck won 46 percent.
Buck, who had been running for Senate but immediately switched races with Gardner, pledged to focus on reducing spending in Washington.
“I will support a constitutional balanced budget amendment,” Buck said, eschewing the social issues Renfroe chose to emphasize in his speech.
Describing his recovery from cancer last year, Buck recognized the importance of medicine and vowed to repeal Obamacare because, he said, “medicine cannot go downhill.”
“I’m a fighter,” he continued. “I want to take that fight to Washington, DC.”
Renfroe, who is supported by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and challenging the conservative Buck from the right, emphasized his Christian values and took a thinly veiled shot at Buck on the issue of personhood, which Buck backed away from toward the end of his unsuccessful 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.
“I’ll be a strong conservative voice for you. I’ll be a strong voice for liberty,” Renfroe said. “I’m committed to protecting life and will never waver in my commitment to protecting the unborn or for personhood.”
As delegates were seated, volunteers for the Colorado Christian Coalition, an RMGO spin-off, distributed fliers highlighting Renfroe’s positions on social issues (Buck, the filer noted, “refused to respond” to the group’s survey).
“I’m not a career politician, I’m just a small business owner,” said Renfroe, who’s in the last year of his eight-year run at the legislature, addressing a packed room of CD-4 delegates.
Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, after addressing delegates and outlining her own support for personhood, gun rights and fracking, declined to be nominated because she’s also petitioning onto the primary ballot and released her delegates to vote for other candidates.
Businessman Steve Laffey, who is also petitioning onto the CD-4 ballot, did not attend Friday’s assembly.