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  Bucking GOP establishment in Colorado Senate race
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Last EditedJason  Jul 01, 2010 07:23pm
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AuthorKristen Wyatt
News DateThursday, July 1, 2010 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionGLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — In a dingy, wood-paneled restaurant with a $9 pizza buffet, Ken Buck is waging the latest fight with a Republican Party establishment that favors candidates with shinier political pedigrees.

A group of retirees has gathered to hear Buck, a prosecutor who had little name recognition until he became a hero to conservatives by targeting illegal immigrants in northeast Colorado's Weld County. For the past year, the indefatigable Buck has pitched a hard-right conservatism to tea party followers and GOP clubs, turning the Republican Senate primary into a fiercely competitive race.

His rival, Jane Norton, is a former lieutenant governor backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and most Republican senators. She raised nearly $1 million her first few weeks in the race and once appeared to be a shoo-in. But she's run into Republican resentment over the party's failed choices in recent elections — and the denim-clad Buck's tireless campaign and folksy charm.

Buck rails against Democrats, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and the federal stimulus package. Then he rolls right to criticize his own party.

"These issues were around when we had power," said Buck, 51. "And we did nothing."

The retirees nod.
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