Some expected, and unexpected, names in the running for SOS

In the most exciting thing to happen since the gossip hounds were howling post-election about who might possibly challenge Dick Wadhams for chairman of the state Republican Party, the deadline has now passed for people to apply to become Colorado’s next secretary of state. And it appears that — stop the presses! — state Rep. Bernie Buescher has tossed his hat into the ring, along with several other expected, and not-so-expected names.

The position opened when Republican Mike Coffman won his Nov. 4 bid to replace Tom Tancredo in Congress. Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, will appoint someone to fill out the position. The likelihood that Ritter’ll pick someone from his own party means that Colorado may have its first Democratic secretary of state for the first time in decades, though leaders in both parties have been downplaying any true partisan nature of the job to oversee elections and business licensing statewide.

As we reported late last week, whoever is picked must not be someone who will embarrass Ritter in any sort of way. Yes, the question was actually posed high up on the application: “Is there anything in your background that might be an embarrassment to the Governor or you if it were to become public?”

On Monday, PolitickerCO was all over it, reporting that Buescher, the Western Sloper who was expected to be Colorado’s next Speaker of the House until he lost his reelection bid, has applied. So has outgoing Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, as was expected. In the also-expected category was outgoing Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon and Election Assistance Chairwoman Rosemary Rodriguez.

A couple of surprise candidates have emerged as well, including TV talk show host Aaron Harber, Denver Democratic Party Secretary Dan Willis and Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Jessica Lovingier.

Stay tuned.