Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) was one of the big players involved in ousting Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker.
Now, after only serving a handful of terms in Congress, he has decided to step down and turn it over to the next generation, shocking MAGA Republicans.
Buck first assumed office in 2015, looking to change the party.
At the time, Buck accused the GOP of "self-serving lies" instead of focusing on conservative principles.
Prior to running for the House, he had a failed Senate campaign in 2010, warning of a dangerous "lurch to the left" by the country.
His last name was appropriate during his time in Congress, as he often found himself in the minority among Republican House members. For instance, in March 2020, he was one of only two Republicans to vote against the initial COVID relief package of $8.3 billion. He again voted against the Coronavirus Relief Package that passed the House with a 363-40 vote.
When then-Speaker McCarthy announced that he was authorizing an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, Buck was vocally against the order, stating that the GOP did not have enough evidence at the time, calling it an "imagined history."
Buck was one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy when Rep. Gaetz (R-FL) made his motion to vacate, and he also voted against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as Speaker after Rep. Scalise (R-LA) failed to win the support of the GOP caucus.
Buck again openly voiced his concerns regarding Jordan's allegiance to Trump and his stance on the results of the 2020 election.
This was someone who was more or less aligned with the MAGA agenda but yet had distanced himself from Trump and his allies in Congress, leaving him in nowhere land.
Buck released a video message announcing his decision to step away from Congress at the end of his term.
"To my friends in Colorado, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve our nation, and to serve you. I look forward to seeing you at the grocery store and the high school football game.
"Being your representative in Washington, DC, has been the greatest professional thrill, and highest honor, of my life."
Democrats winning Buck's seat should not be a concern, but that does not mean Democrats will not go after it aggressively. They already smell blood in the water over Rep. Boebert's (R-CO) seat, as misstep after misstep has likely ended her congressional career.
Boebert is not dead in the water yet, but she is trailing her Democrat challenger by two points in the latest polling.
Buck's retirement is not exactly a surprise, considering how things have gone over the last two years.
For those concerned that his seat could be flipped, if Republicans run any campaign for that seat with a decent candidate, they should win it handily. After all, Buck won 60.9 to 36.6.
Boebert's seat is a different situation altogether, as she won her seat by less than 700 votes in 2022, and she has had numerous negative headlines since then, with Frisch actually leading her in polling now.
With Boebert's problems, I have to wonder what type of candidate the most successful replacement for Buck will be, meaning do we need a full MAGA or someone more moderate? I tend to think Boebert's struggles are more about her than the agenda itself.
All that aside, Buck's retirement points to a clear divide that remains in the House, which needs to be priority one for House Speaker Johnson (R-LA) to address.