Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Ken Buck, cowboy boots on the ground, stays in it to win it against Michael Bennet

In late August 2009, Jane Norton had not yet entered the U.S. Senate race -- although her anointment by Republic Party powers was imminent. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez had just announced that he'd decided against a run. That seemed to leave just Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, since reports had Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck dropping out. What a difference a year makes.

Last October, facing the well-funded Norton campaign, Frazier wisely decided to switch to a race for Ed Perlmutter's seventh Congressional seat -- a decision that paid off with his easy victory in the primary last night.

Buck, of course, stayed in it to win it.

How close did he really come to leaving the Senate race in late August 2009? When I asked him that at the Independence Institute's ATF event three weeks ago, Buck wasn't eager to talk about it. So instead, we talked about the new Jane Norton ad that challenged him to be a man -- after she'd already played the gender card in numerous campaign appearances. And that, of course, led to Buck's "I don't wear high heels" and "Weld County bullshit" comment.

And Buck wound up giving a big kick in the pants to Norton -- and the party powers -- with his cowboy boots. Bullshit and all.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun