Candidates vie for Colorado Secretary of State opening |

Candidates vie for Colorado Secretary of State opening

Steven K. Paulson
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” At least 20 candidates have lined up to fill the vacancy expected when Secretary of State Mike Coffman steps down to take a seat in Congress in January, including former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon and state Rep. Bernie Buescher.

Others competing for the post include a yoga instructor and an investment banker.

Gov. Bill Ritter asked candidates for the job to submit their resumes and an essay by Monday, and 20 people responded.

Ritter said he will appoint someone after Coffman resigns in January.

Gordon, who lost to Coffman in 2006 by 23,000 votes, told Ritter he has a “rare passion for process issues” and sponsored 37 bills to reform elections. He also promised to run again.

“Continuity in the office is important, so I will pledge to run for re-election in 2010 and I will not leave for another opportunity that may appear to others to be more glamorous,” Gordon said in his essay.

Romanoff promised to continue his campaign to make government more transparent, and Buescher said voters need to be assured that elections are run fairly.

David Willis, a corporate travel agent in Denver, admitted he was an unlikely candidate because he has never held public office, but he said he applied because he has a passion for elections. Claudine Kuhns, a business consultant and self-employed yoga instructor, cited her background as a political consultant.

John Works, an investment banker from Denver, also applied, citing his experience as an oil and gas industry executive.

Ritter set up a seven-member panel to screen applicants, and asked them to whittle the list of choices to three before he makes his decision.

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