Colorado Gov. Ritter Retiring

Democrat to step down at end of first term
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2010 5:25 AM CST
Colorado Gov. Ritter Retiring
In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 photo, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter heads into a news conference in the State Capitol in Denver.    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Colorado's Democratic governor won't be running for re-election this fall, sources tell the AP. Bill Ritter was elected for his first term in 2006 in a pivotal swing-voting state and has been widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Ritter has called a press conference today to announce the decision, Democratic sources say.

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Reaction from Republicans was swift. "What a dramatic turn of events. He was a very weak incumbent and he wanted to get out on his own terms," said Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams. Top contenders to replace Ritter include Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. (Read more John Hickenlooper stories.)

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