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Ken Buck

Buck distances from Freedom Caucus amid speaker fight

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), a longtime member of the House Freedom Caucus, is keeping his distance from the right-wing group as tensions remain high over his opposition to Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) bid to be House speaker.

Buck, who told us Thursday that he won’t “ever” vote for Jordan, hasn’t been attending any HFC meetings amid the speaker fight and will disengage until the issue is resolved.

“I’ve stayed away from Freedom Caucus meetings because I don’t want them to think I’m spying on them,” Buck told us. “We disagree on this. I respect our disagreement. When this is over, I will engage again.”

Buck added that he wasn’t afraid his membership in the conservative group would be revoked. But it’s clear that there are growing frustrations with the Colorado Republican, according to several HFC members we spoke with.

The Freedom Caucus, which Jordan helped found in 2015, has been pushing forcefully for him to win the speakership. Several members of the group, including Buck, were responsible for ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the first place.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said it’s “sad” Buck opposes Jordan.

“I don’t know what the exact reason is for him opposing Jim Jordan,” Boebert told us. “I know many constituents in his district want to see Jim Jordan as speaker.”

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) echoed Boebert’s sentiment.

“I don’t understand his opposition,” Good said, adding that he’s talked to Buck frequently about it.

One Freedom Caucus member told us Buck’s motivations are “personal and petty.” Another HFC lawmaker said they would be in favor of removing Buck from the group.

“He would be lucky if he remains a member,” that lawmaker said.

HFC Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) dismissed any frustration with Buck but told us he didn’t know why the Colorado Republican is opposed to Jordan.

Buck and Jordan have had disagreements in the past. Most notably, Jordan passed over Buck to name Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) the chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Buck also skipped Jordan’s high-profile Judiciary Committee field hearings on crime in Chicago and New York, arguing they infringed on local jurisdiction.

Publicly, Buck has also taken issue with Jordan’s objections to certifying the 2020 presidential election. Buck says he wants a speaker who acknowledges President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

It’s also been widely reported that Buck has been angling for a possible TV contributor contract. Buck’s continued opposition is no doubt keeping him in the media spotlight.

Buck refused to comment on his media ambitions to us this week.

Russell Dye, Jordan’s spokesperson, told us Buck and Jordan have a “great relationship.”

“Mr. Jordan and Mr. Buck have had a great relationship for years and they are good friends,” Dye said in a statement. “We look forward to continue working with him when Mr. Jordan is Speaker.”

Mica Soellner and Max Cohen

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