State Rep. John Buckner of Aurora dies at 67 after short illness

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State Rep. John Buckner.

AURORA, Colo. — State Rep. John Buckner, D-Aurora, died early Thursday after a brief illness. He was 67.

“My heart is broken,” his wife, Janet, told The Denver Post. “I can’t believe my life partner isn’t going to be here but he got a lot done. He was fair and he was a straight shooter.”

Buckner was first elected to the House in 2012 and was chairman of the Education Committee. He worked for four decades in the Cherry Creek School District at Laredo Middle School, and Smoky Hill and Overland high schools. The gymnasium at Overland, where he once was the school’s principal, is named in his honor.

Buckner came down with a respiratory virus earlier this year and had been expected to recover. In a letter to fellow House members last month, he wrote, “While I am sure some of you are relieved to get a break from me, don’t think for a moment that you’ve run me off!”

Services are pending.

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