Ken Buck is watching what he says.
The Republican prosecutor became a symbol for his party’s political overreach in 2010, when he beat the establishment pick in a U.S. Senate primary, only to lose to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
During the race, tea party favorite Buck was pounded for statements that angered some gays and women. Bennet’s surprise victory became a 2012 template for Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who went after their challengers’ statements on reproductive health and women’s rights.
Now Buck is back, having survived a bout with cancer, and is the front-runner in his party’s June primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. The race will test whether Republicans can avoid the mistakes that kept the Senate out of their hands in the last two elections. This time, the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take charge.
“I fail to see how somebody who lost the winnable election in 2010 is the face of the future for this party,” former state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams said. “The same issues are going to come back.”
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