Our View: Ritter for governor
Compared to some of the other mind-bending decisions to be made on Tuesday’s ballot, this is an easy one: Bill Ritter is a far superior choice than Bob Beauprez to be the next governor of our state.
Beauprez is a likable enough guy with solid Colorado roots and a decent resume as a businessman, but it doesn’t go much further than that. As a U.S. congressman, Beauprez has mostly followed in lock-step with the Republican party, signing on with the majority in what is one of the most reviled congresses in U.S. history. In Colorado, he made the poor decision to strenuously oppose Referendum C, which has since proved to be a major fix for the state’s budget woes. Given the chance to embrace that reform, Beauprez chose instead to continue opposing it.
Ritter, on the other hand, appears to be an independent thinker and doer. As a pro-life Democrat, he represents an emerging wing of the party that’s more centrist. The fact that the Democratic standard bearer for Colorado is not pro-choice is troublesome to some degree, but Ritter has said he won’t pursue his own beliefs by trying to overturn federal law. More to the point, his stance makes a convincing case that Ritter is a leader driven more by his own ideals than by focus groups or party talking points.
When Ritter envisions the future of the state, he hits on many of the things we like to hear up here in the mountains. In his “Colorado Promise” plan, he speaks of modernizing our transportation system, being a leader in renewable energy, creating a state health plan to reduce the roles of the uninsured, focusing on water supplies and ensuring our state colleges remain affordable. Like many progressive governors, Ritter seems to understand that waiting around for the feds to fix things is an exercise in futility. We like his bold talk and ideas and believe he’d be the kind of leader who’d fulfill his promises by working both sides of the aisle politically.
Colorado is a complex, growing state that’s looming larger on the national stage. In our next governor, we can’t afford to have a partisan, backward-looking leader who’s more concerned about consolidating power than serving the people. That’s rather what Beauprez looks like, and Ritter appears to represent the opposite. Ritter may not be the kind of guy who electrifies crowds and inspires a generation, but he has all the appearance of a solid, reliable leader with some good ideas to move the state forward. And compared to partisan, veto-happy Bill Owens, he should be a welcome breath of fresh air in the capitol.
Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado