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Colorado Governor Ritter to retire

Updated 10:17 p.m.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will not seek a second term this fall, according to Democratic sources briefed on his decision.

Ritter was elected in a landslide in 2006, and his state's capital, Denver, hosted the Democratic National Convention and the presidential nomination of Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

But Ritter's political fate has dipped considerably in the intervening years, and he faced an extremely difficult re-election race against former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) in November.

The Denver Post reported that Ritter has scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference Wednesday. Numerous sources close to the governor told the Denver paper that he will announce his decision then.

Ritter's campaign manager did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

"Bill Ritter was literally the weakest incumbent in nearly 50 years and his own party was unenthusiastic at best for his reelection," said Colorado Republican party chairman Dick Wadhams. "Colorado has certainly changed from that heady day at Invesco Field."

Democrats are likely to turn to either former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff or Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to replace Ritter. Romanoff is currently challenging appointed Sen. Michael Bennet in a Democratic primary and if he could be convinced to switch races would solve two problems for the party. State Treasurer Cary Kennedy and Rep. Ed Perlmutter are also mentioned as potential Democratic candidates.

Colorado is now the eleventh open seat Democrats must defend this year although the other ten seats are being vacated as a result of term limits. Republicans also have eleven open seats of their own to defend. There are 37 governors races on the ballot this fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 5, 2010; 9:05 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Next: Chris Dodd to step aside

Comments

crazy. No one wants to be a politician anymore. Good new about Dodd, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin's open seat is not the result of term limits.

Posted by: FredSmiley | January 6, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one surprised to see a likely R Gov of Colorado (or have I missed something/not been paying attention)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | January 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dick Wadhams,

How is President George Allen working out for you now? You are a real genius on the campaign side of things.

Sincerely,
A Virginia Voter

Posted by: notjoeabbey | January 5, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dick Wadhams,

How is President George Allen working out for you now? You are a real genius on the campaign side of things.

Sincerely,
A Virginia Voter

Posted by: notjoeabbey | January 5, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dick Wadhams,

How is President George Allen working out for you now? You are a real genius on the campaign side of things.

Sincerely,
A Virginia Voter

Posted by: notjoeabbey | January 5, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Political Tsunami (tidal wave, for those of you in Rio Linda ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

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