Buck prevails over Renfroe in CD-4, likely locks up a seat in Congress

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is one of four Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is one of four Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2014.

GREELEY, Colo. — Ken Buck appears to be headed for victory in Colorado’s fourth congressional district.

The Weld County District Attorney is running ahead of three other Republican primary challengers, outgoing state Sen. Scott Renfroe, Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and businessman and former Cranston, RI mayor Steve Laffey.

Buck had 45 percent of the vote in early returns, with Renfroe his closest competitor with 25 percent of the vote with more than 32,000 votes counted as of 7:25 p.m.

Kirkmeyer and Laffey were non-factors with 15 and 14 percent of the vote, respectively.

Buck, who was the GOP’s U.S. Senate candidate in 2010 and narrowly lost to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, benefited from high name ID in the sprawling and heavily conservative district.

He also raised more money — $738,000 as of the last campaign finance report — than his three opponents combined.

Because the district is dominated by registered Republicans, Buck is all but assured of winning the general election in November and taking his seat in Congress come January.

He’ll replace Congressman Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who opted to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall this fall rather than seek reelection in the House and continue on a path toward a leadership post there.