Ritter sets Senate vacancy announcement for Saturday afternoon

Gov. Bill Ritter will announce his choice to fill out the U.S. Senate term of Democrat Ken Salazar at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Colorado State Capitol, his office said in a release Friday afternoon. The governor is expected to name Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet to replace Salazar, who plans to step down after being confirmed as the next secretary of the interior later this month.

The governor’s office hasn’t confirmed that Bennet is the Senate nominee, but Denver Post photographer Craig F. Walker snapped a picture of a smiling Bennet emerging from Salazar’s Denver office earlier Friday.

The governor plans to introduce Colorado’s next U.S. senator in the West Foyer of the Capitol, and the public is invited to the announcement, the governor’s office said. Enter the Capitol through the north basement doors on the Colfax Avenue side.

UPDATE: Ritter’s announcement will be streamed live on two Denver news channel’s Web sites. Check Channel 7’s video at thedenverchannel.com or Channel 9’s video at 9News.com.