Republican Greg Lopez wins vacancy election to fill out remainder of retired Rep. Ken Buck’s term

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Greg Lopez speaks during the 2024 Republican state assembly, April 6, 2024, at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.

Updated: 11:10 p.m. June 25, 2024.

Voters in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District are sending Republican Greg Lopez to Congress to fill the rest of former Rep. Ken Buck’s term this Congress.

Colorado’s fourth is the state’s most Republican House seat and Lopez went into the election favored to win. He faced Democrat Trisha Calvares, a former staffer at the US Science Foundation and the AFL-CIO, Libertarian Hannah Goodman and Frank Atwood with the Approval Voting Party.

As of 11 p.m., Lopez led with 58 percent of the vote, followed by Calvarese with 34 percent in preliminary results.

Lopez sold himself as a placeholder candidate, someone who would only fill the seat for the rest of the year, making him a lame duck right from the start.

Before this election, Lopez, a small business owner who served in the U.S. Air Force out of high school, had two unsuccessful runs for governor in 2018 and 2022. The first, and until now only, election he won was in 1992, when he was elected mayor of Parker as a Democrat before switching to become a Republican. He also served as the Colorado Director of the Small Business Administration during the Obama administration.

He’s also had some run-ins with the law. Lopez settled a federal case alleging he improperly tried to influence colleagues from the SBA asking for a “favor” for a friend. In 2003, he was charged with a DUI and in 1993 he and his wife were cited in a domestic violence incident. He was accused of pushing and kicking his wife, who was pregnant at the time after she hit him.

The winner won’t be serving as part of the 118th Congress for long. There are only about 45 legislative days on the calendar from July to the end of the year.