Pena not interested in Colorado Senate appointment |

Pena not interested in Colorado Senate appointment

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

Judy DeHaas/Rocky Mountain NewsFormer Denver mayor Federico Pena says he is not interested in Ken Salazar's seat in the U.S. Senate.

DENVER ” Former Denver Mayor Federico Pena says he’s not interested in filling the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Ken Salazar.

The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday that Pena issued a statement saying he wants to stay in Colorado.

Pena, a cabinet member in the Clinton administration, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Salazar, who’s been nominated as Interior secretary by President-elect Barack Obama.

The Senate will consider his nomination.

Pena, a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign, headed the transportation and energy departments under President Bill Clinton.

“It is my desire to remain in Colorado and to continue to advise and assist President-elect Obama in any way I can from my home in Denver,” Pena said.

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Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, will appoint someone to serve the last two years of Salazar’s term. Ritter has said he won’t set up a task force to review candidates, but is taking suggestions from the public via an e-mail address:

Two of Colorado’s Democratic members of Congress ” Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver and Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Denver’s western suburbs ” have publicly expressed interest in the job.

Others who’ve been mentioned for the position are Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, term-limited State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Rep. John Salazar of western Colorado, Ken Salazar’s brother.

The Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday that Henry Solano, former U.S. attorney for Colorado, has let Ritter know that he’s interested. Solano also worked at the U.S. Justice and Labor departments and managed three state agencies.