GOP Holds Small Majority In House After Resignations

The recent resignation of a Colorado representative has left Republicans in the House with a slim majority that could be lost during special elections to replace departing members of Congress.

On Tuesday, March 12, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) released a statement informing the public that he was leaving his position as a representative of the 4th Congressional District in Colorado. He will leave office “at the end of next week,” according to his statement posted to X. Buck served in Congress for the past nine years.

His statement included a note that the lawmaker is hoping to continue being “involved in our political process” even as he plans to spend “more time in Colorado and with my family.”

Buck’s departure will leave Republicans with a 218-213 majority. This slim lead in the House is anticipated to shrink even more at the end of April, when a special election will be held to replace a Democrat who has since left a seat open. However, a few open seats have also been left by GOP representatives, providing an opportunity for the party to secure its majority.

Notably, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the former Speaker of the House who left Congress altogether in December after being voted out of his leadership role, has left a seat in the 20th Congressional District of California that is expected to be filled by a fellow Republican.

Vince Fong, a GOP state assemblyman, recently took home the most votes in the primary for the seat. The special election for this position is scheduled for March 19, and if no candidate earns a majority of the vote, a special election runoff is scheduled for May 21.

Shortly after McCarthy’s departure, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) resigned, taking a job as Youngstown State University’s president. Like McCarthy’s district, Johnson’s is not expected to be turned over to a Democrat in the primary for the March 19 special election or the June 11 general election.

Buck’s seat is now also up for grabs, but the dates of the special election have not yet been revealed. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, however, has indicated his plans to schedule the election so it coincides with the Colorado primary, scheduled for June 25. The special election will take place sometime between June 15 and 30, per Colorado law.

Buck’s resignation comes after he said last year that he would not run for reelection due to his disagreement with the GOP’s support of former president Donald Trump and claims that he was cheated out of a victory in the 2020 election. The lawmaker recently noted that Americans are displeased with both Trump and President Joe Biden, calling national government leadership “dysfunctional.”

Following his resignation, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) expressed their surprise at their colleague’s decision to leave before the end of his term.