Tea Party favorite cruises to victory

Ken Buck is likely headed to Washington after all. 

The 2010 Senate nominee, who was maligned in his race four years ago against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), won the open 4th District House GOP primary Tuesday night. Now, Buck is the odds-on favorite in the fall to succeed Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who is running for Senate. 

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The Associated Press has called the race for Buck, who had 44 percent of the vote with 58 percent of precincts reporting. Buck's closest opponent, state Sen. Scott Renfroe, took just 24 percent despite winning the top spot on the ballot at the district convention. 

Still, Buck was perceived to be the favorite headed into the primary. He had originally been seeking to unseat Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) this year but dropped out of the race when Gardner announced his candidacy. Gardner himself endorsed Buck to succeed him shortly after entering the Senate race.

Along with Gardner's endorsement, Buck had outraised all of his primary opponents, collecting more money than his three competitors combined. Supporters donating to Buck's campaign were the KochPAC, linked to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) leadership PAC.

Buck will go on to face Democrat Vic Meyers and Libertarian nominee Jess Loban in the general election, but he’s expected to easily win in the GOP-leaning district.