Some Ritter Picks Were Early Supporters

Governor-elect Bill Ritter has been busy picking new cabinet members, and financial reports show that some of those selected were early supporters.

At least four of the new appointees contributed to Ritter in 2005, before it was known if any more Democrats would be campaigning for the executive position.Joan Henneberry and Harris Sherman were two of the earliest contributors. In August of 2005 Henneberry gave $500 total, while Sherman contributed $1,000 in September of that same year.

Henneberry has been picked to manage Health Care Policy and Financing. Sherman was appointed to head Department of Natural Resources, where he was an executive director previously. Both positions will require a Senate confirmation.

Lobbyist Mary Kay Hogan gave $211.58 as an in-kind contribution in December of 2005 for a food and beverage event, and former police chief Ari Zavaras gave a total of $600 that same month.

Zavaras will head the Department of Corrections, and Hogan will be Ritter’s legislative liaison.

At the beginning of 2006, it was rumored that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper might be a Democratic contender in the Governor’s race. Soon after, Hickenlooper announced that he would not be running.

When Democrat and former legislator Gary Lindstrom pulled out of the Governor’s race, it paved the way for Ritter’s nomination at the Colorado Democratic Convention in May.

Despite rumors and speculation, Ritter’s early supporters called it right. Some of them even make up his staff.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at