Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will run again in 2010 | AspenTimes.com
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Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will run again in 2010

Steven K. Paulson
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said Friday he will run for a second term next year because he wants to continue working on renewable energy and education issues.

“I believe we can continue that progress in a second term,” Ritter said during a meeting with reporters to discuss the end of this year’s legislative session.

Ritter, a Democrat, said in an interview with KOA radio he has already filed the paper work to run for re-election.

Ritter said Republicans failed to come up with solutions to the state’s problems and tried to block efforts on major reforms, including limits on state spending that limited the state’s ability to pay for big-ticket items like transportation and public education. Ritter said it was Democrats who were able to get those issues passed.

“It was the audacity of nope in this building. The way we answer our critics is doing the things we say we’re going to do,” he said.

Ritter defended his vetoes of bills that would have helped organized labor, a move that prompted several unions to say they may not back him for another term.

“We did so much for working families. We just felt that was something we had to do,” he said.

Several unions have indicated they may support another candidate if Ritter has a Democratic primary race next year.

“We’re going to have to take a hard look at where we stand with Gov. Ritter,” Colorado AFL-CIO Executive Director Mike Cerbo said Thursday, after the governor vetoed a bill that would have given firefighters the right to unionize without local government approval.

“Our hope has always been to forge a better working relationship with him, but we’ll have to discuss with our affiliates how the vetoes impact how we move forward,” Cerbo said.

Ritter has also angered other major Democratic constituencies, including Hispanics who were upset when Ritter appointed Denver public schools superintendent Michael Bennet to replace U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. Supporters of former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff were also upset by the appointment of Bennet, who had no previous political experience.

The discontent has motivated Republicans, who see a chance to win back the office they lost two years ago. The election gave Democrats control of the Legislature and the governor’s office.

Republicans want to regain control of at least one chamber or the governor’s office so they can force a compromise when the state goes through redistricting after the 2010 census.

Former congressman Scott McInnis of Grand Junction has already filed the paper work to run in the GOP primary. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who worked as an aide to McInnis in Washington, is also considering a run.

Evergreen businessman Dan Maes was the first Republican to file papers to run for governor.


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