Pueblo Officials Play Musical Chairs

Congressman John Salazar (D-Manassas), whose district covers most of the Western Slope and the Pueblo area, announced on Thursday that Pueblo County Commissioner Loretta Kennedy will be replacing Sal Pace as his southeast regional director. Sounds simple enough, but this staff change has caused a series of political dance moves for Democrats in the Pueblo area.Pace left his position to run for the 46th house district race to replace term-limited Rep. Dorothy Butcher, who in turn, had revealed her intentions to run for Kennedy’s Pueblo county commission seat because Kennedy was also term-limited in 2008.

Since Kennedy is leaving before her term has expired, the Pueblo County Democratic central Committee will have to find a replacement  and that means Butcher is between a rock and a hard decision.

From the Pueblo Chieftain:

Butcher said Wednesday it’s too early for her to make a decision whether to seek the commission appointment, which would require her to resign in turn from her House seat if she were to be appointed.

“When I announced for commissioner it was because that seat will be vacant next year,” she said. “I had no idea that (Kennedy) was not going to finish her term, so this is a substantial change from what we were expecting. We’re certainly interested in pursuing that, but I’m also giving serious consideration to completing my term.”

There is another person interested in the commissioner seat, retired highway engineer John Cordova, who predicts that whoever is appointed to replace Kennedy will be a step ahead in the 2008 election.

The Pueblo County Democratic Party has only 10 days to fill Kennedy’s vacancy after her resignation. Kennedy herself was appointed to fill a commission seat after the former official resigned to take a state job.