Reports: Ritter to Retire in Colorado

Posted January 5, 2010 at 10:35pm

Several news outlets are reporting that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will not seek a second term this fall, according to Democratic sources briefed on his decision.

Ritter, elected in a landslide in 2006, had seen his political fortunes decline in the intervening years, and faced an extremely difficult re-election race against former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) in November. Ritter defeated then-Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) in the 2006 open-seat contest.

Ritter’s departure would leave Democrats scrambling for a candidate just 10 months before Election Day, but the party has strong potential recruits. Three of the other four statewide elected officials are Democrats and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) has long contemplated running for statewide office. Also among the potential candidates is former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who currently is challenging Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary.

McInnis leads the Republican field but Beauprez has said he is contemplating another run.