Senate hopeful Ken Buck visits Summit |

Senate hopeful Ken Buck visits Summit

AP PhotoDemocratic Sen. Michael Bennet (left) makes a point on 'Meet the Press' last week as Republican challenger Ken Buck listens. Buck will be in Summit County Monday.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ken Buck will meet with Summit County voters from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Mint Steakhouse in Silverthorne.

The visit is part of the Weld County District Attorney’s grassroots tour around Colorado.

Buck will speak briefly at the event on job creation, spending cuts and economic recovery before taking comments and questions.

“This is going to be a time for the people of Summit County to get to know Ken Buck a little bit better and for him to hear about their concerns,” Buck’s spokesman Owen Loftus said.

GOP candidates Stephen Bailey for U.S. Congress, Tim Leonard for state Senate District 16 and Debra Irvine for state House District 56 will join Buck at the meet and greet.

Buck is challenging incumbent Democrat and former Denver Public Schools superintendent Michael Bennet for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat in a race that has turned ugly as election day approaches.

Buck has weathered a storm of criticism in recent weeks as opposition camps have mounted an increasingly heated negative marketing campaign and Buck himself has made controversial comments on a number of social issues.

The Republican Senate hopeful enjoyed a strong early lead in the polls, but has faltered in October under a wave of attack ads and in the wake of some of his own statements on homosexuality and global warming.

Early October telephone surveys put Buck ahead of Bennet 5 percentage points, but a Rasmussen Reports poll released Oct. 16 showed his lead had fallen to just 2 percent over Bennet. It is the closest the two have been in eight months, according to the survey.

Buck recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism during a “Meet the Press” debate with Bennet and days later applauded fellow GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe’s stance that global warming is a hoax. Buck later clarified both comments, saying he believes global warming is real, but not human-caused and that he believes predisposition plays a role in homosexuality.

Bennet’s campaign has used the statements and television advertising to paint Buck as extreme.

But Loftus said Buck’s camp expects the race to come down to economic, not social issues.

“Everywhere we go people are talking about jobs and the economy,” Loftus said. Those are the issues that this race is about. Ken’s already discussed those comments on ‘Meet the Press’ and he said he’s not going (to Washington) for the social agenda. He’s going there to rein in spending, which is his No. 1 priority, and to create jobs.”

Monday’s meet and greet is free and open to the public.

SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be reached at

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