Even though he filed paperwork in March to run for a second term, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter dropped the news Friday morning on 850KOA that he’s running for re-election next year. “We have more work to do, and I’d like to be able to do it through 2010,” Ritter said, according to the Associated Press.
Ritter said he’s made strides on education, health care and the “New Energy Economy,” a phrase Ritter uses often to describe efforts to make Colorado a center for renewable energy.
Two powerful Democratic constituencies are unhappy with Ritter, the AP’s Steven K. Paulson reports. Union activists are looking for a primary challenger to take on the governor after Ritter vetoed two bills supported by labor, and some Hispanics are still seething over Ritter’s appointment of Michael Bennet to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar.
Republican challengers include former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis and Evergreen businessman Dan Maes. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry and former state lawmaker Tom Wiens are also weighing bids.
The governor hasn’t made a secret of his plans to seek a second term, a spokesman told The Colorado Independent. According to his most recent fundraising report filed with the Colorado secretary of state, Ritter had $125,609.21 on hand at the end of March. His campaign’s next report is due in July and will cover fundraising through the end of June.
Ritter defeated Republican Bob Beauprez, a two-term congressman, in a blowout in 2006, winning 56 percent of the vote. Democrats took control of the Colorado Legislature in the previous election for the first time in decades.