20 apply to be next Secretary of State, but who won’t embarrass Ritter?

OK. The final tally is 20, as in 20 people want to be sworn in to oversee elections and business licensing in Colorado and replace Secretary of State Mike Coffman, who is running off to succeed Republican Tom Tancredo in Congress after drawing the ire of a federal judge for purging 44,000 voters from the rolls at the last minute. As we reported late last week, whoever is picked must not be someone who will embarrass Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, in any way.

Will unexpected applicant Scott Gessler, a longtime GOP attorney-activist with proven tricks up his sleeve, be able to answer the following question: “Is there anything in your background that might be an embarrassment to the governor or you if it were to become public?”

Curious minds want to know!

Here is the full list of applicants, including the expected and unexpected, courtesy of PolitickerCO, which has been covering the story like a triple-thick down comforter.

By way of process explanation, a seven-member panel will review all 20 applications and present a list of finalists to Ritter in December. Coffman isn’t going anywhere until January, when he heads to Washington to join Doug Lamborn as the junior member of what will be Colorado’s two-man GOP congressional delegation.

Without further ado, here they are:

State Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction
• Attorney John Clough from Littleton
• 2004 5th Congressional District Democratic nominee Jay Fawcett from Colorado Springs
GOP-friendly Attorney Scott Gessler from Denver
• Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver
• 2008 state House District 6 Democratic candidate Josh Hanfling from Denver
•1990 Democratic Secretary of State nominee and TV show host Aaron Harber from Lafayette
• Colorado Democratic Party Executive Director Sherry Jackson from Denver
• Public Integrity Project Executive Director Claudia Kuhns from Denver
• Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Jessica Lovingier from Black Hawk
• 2000 and 2002 Democratic Secretary of State nominee Anthony Martinez from Conejos
• Art Institute of Colorado adjunct professor Cary McMinn from Fort Morgan
• Information Services, Inc. Vice President of Operations Joseph Poche from Cherry Hills Village
• Colorado Secretary of State policy analyst Scott Primeau from Denver
• Federal Election Assistance Commission Chairwoman Rosemary Rodriguez from Denver
• Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver
• Financial analyst Theresa Smith from Littleton
• U.S. Geological Survey research scientist James Tindall from Denver
• Denver Democratic Party Secretary Dan Willis from Denver
• Rancher Energy Corp. President/CEO John Works Jr. from Denver