Jockeying for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat intensifies
DENVER, Colorado ” The holiday hasn’t quieted political jockeying for the hottest job in Colorado ” the Senate seat about to be vacated by Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar.
Former state Sen. Polly Baca added her name to the resume pile this week, sending Gov. Bill Ritter a letter talking up her credentials. Ritter will appoint someone to fill the remaining two years of Salazar’s term.
Baca, a Democrat from Denver, reminded Ritter that if she were appointed, Colorado would be the first state to send a Hispanic woman to the Senate.
Ritter hasn’t indicated when he’ll name a replacement for Salazar, who will stay in his seat until he’s confirmed by the Senate as interior secretary for President-elect Barack Obama. That could take several weeks after Obama’s inauguration.
There is no shortage of Democrats looking to fill Salazar’s shoes. Ritter, a fellow Democrat considered certain to appoint a Democrat to the spot, has said he’ll make the decision alone, but he’s asked the public to e-mail suggested candidates.
Among the Democrats saying they’d like the spot is Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who has talked with Ritter about the vacancy. Others are Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver and term-limited state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
This week, three Denver City Council members urged Hickenlooper not to leave the city for the Senate, saying that could be disruptive for Denver during the economic downturn.
Baca’s interest was reported Wednesday in the Rocky Mountain News.
Baca, 67, was a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention in Denver last summer. Most recently she was one of a nine Colorado Democrats who served as electors in the Electoral College.