Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) announced Thursday afternoon that he has established an e-mail address for Coloradans to express their views on whom he should appoint to replace Sen. Ken Salazar (D).
Ritter is responsible under state law for appointing a replacement for Salazar, who was nominated Wednesday by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of the Interior. In his statement Thursday, Ritter said he would move quickly, deliberately and thoughtfully to name Salazars successor. As part of that process Ritter is also asking for Coloradans to email him at email@example.com to express their views on who should get the Senate job.
A slew of Democratic names have emerged since it became clear that Salazar would join Obamas Cabinet, including three Members of the states House delegation. Rep. John Salazar, the older brother of the Senator, is expected to be a leading contender for the post. But Rep. Ed Perlmutter has also said he would be interested in the job if it were offered. Rep. Diana DeGette is also seriously considering the job and has been in touch with Ritters office since Tuesday.
Outside the states House delegation, the names of several state officials have been floated for the Senate seat. They include Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, former U.S. attorney and two-time Senate nominee Tom Strickland and outgoing Colorado Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff, who is being term-limited out of office, told the Denver Post on Monday that he would be interested in the Senate seat as he is looking for a way to make a contribution to the state.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.