Ritter questions timing of lawsuit challenging Arizona immigration law

The New York Times Sunday reported Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter was among several Democrats who voiced a certain degree of uneasiness with the Obama administration’s lawsuit challenging Arizona’s new immigration law.

At the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Boston, the Times reported Democrats already worried about their re-election prospects in November given the weak economy now find themselves grappling with immigration reform – a highly divisive issue.

“I might have chosen both a different tack and a different time,” Ritter is quoted by the Times. “This is an issue that divides us politically, and I’m hopeful that their strategy doesn’t do that in a way that makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected, particularly in the West.”

Ritter isn’t worried about re-election after pulling out of the race late last year, but seems to be alluding to potential backsplash on Democratic gubernatorial choice John Hickenlooper.

Term-limited Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico also isn’t concerned about re-election, but called the nervousness expressed by Dems who are facing tough races “misguided.”

“Policy-wise it makes sense, and Obama is popular with Hispanic voters and this is going to be a popular move with them nationally,” Richardson said.

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