In the end, voters overlooked the gaffes. Ken Buck has beaten Republican Party establishment favorite Jane Norton in the Colorado Senate primary, having survived a number of caught-on-tape gaffes that plagued his campaign’s closing days.Buck leads Norton 52%-48%, with 76% of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has called the race for Buck.
Buck, the Weld County District Attorney, has positioned himself as a Tea Party candidate, in contrast with Norton, a former Lt. Governor and a favorite of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Buck led in the polls since June, despite a number of high profile miscues. At a campaign event, in apparent response to a Norton ad calling on him to “be man enough,” Buck said voters should pick him because he “does not wear high heels.” When Tom Tancredo called Obama a greater threat to the country than Al Qaeda, Buck was caught saying “I can’t believe that guy opened his mouth,” and was later forced to concede there was “truth” in Tancredo’s statement. Finally, he was recorded by a Democratic operative calling birther members of the Tea Party “dumbasses.”
Buck’s platform includes opposition to the stimulus and “big government,” and a belief that health care reform “infringes on personal freedom, violates states’ rights, will ration medical care and could potentially bankrupt our country.”