Bernie Buescher is Colorado’s next secretary of state

Gov. Bill Ritter has picked state Rep. Bernie Buescher as Colorado’s next secretary of state.

“Thank you for the confidence,” Buescher told the governor. “I will work hard and try to do a good job.”

Ritter announced his pick at a news conference in his office this morning. The position came open when Mike Coffman was elected to congress. In all, 20 people applied; that number was whittled to three finalists, including Buescher, as well as outgoing House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon.

During the news conference, Ritter thanked all for applying, and said Buescher is a proven leader with a diverse group of experience, including in private business and in government. Ritter described the list of applicants as having an “embarrassment of riches” worth of talent, but in the end picked Buescher, whom he described as “a proven leader.”

I believe that Bernie Buescher is the person among all the people who should be the secretary of state,” Ritter said.

Buescher, a state representative from Grand Junction, was expected to become the next speaker of Colorado’s House of Representatives until he lost his reelection bid to Republican Laura Bradford.

Buescher will now serve as secretary of state until at least 2010, when the seat is up for election.

UPDATE: Was Ken Gordon being overly generous with really bad timing, or was he exhibiting a taste of Chinese sour grapes? Here is the e-mail that Gordon sent out to his e-mail list eight minutes before the governor’s scheduled 9:30 a.m. news conference:

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

There is a saying. I think it is Chinese. Maybe Zen. Not sure. It goes something like, House burns down, now I can see the sky. Or maybe another one works as well. When one door closes, another opens.

Anyway, the Governor picked Bernie Buescher to be the next Secretary of State. Bernie is a good guy. I think he will do a good job. I told him that I would do whatever I can to help him. It is an important job and the Secretary of State’s office can use some continuity, so he will need our help in 2010.

Thanks to all of you who supported me for the office. I appreciate it very much.


h/t to Ernest Luning