DENVER- Sen. Ken Salazar, a longtime friend of Huerfano County and opponent to the expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Complex, has been tapped by President-Elect Barack Obama as the next Secretary of the Interior.
Salazar’s resume looks like a great fit for the Interior department. As Colorado’s former attorney general, he has experience with issues such as energy development, public land policy and water law.
He also has great political connections, coming to Huerfano County personally to campaign on behalf of Obama. When the Journal asked at that time if he hoped for a cabinet position in an Obama administration, he coyly replied, “Let’s focus on getting Barack elected first.”
Jockeying to replace Salazar has already begun, with several prominent names landing on Gov. Bill Ritter’s short list. At the top of many lists is Ken’s brother, Rep. John Salazar of the third congressional district. Salazar was considered for Agriculture Secretary, but instead landed a plumb appointment on the important House Appropriations Committee, and is unlikely to leave that behind.
Other names mentioned as a possible replacement are Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette, State Speaker Andrew Romanoff, and last but not least, Ritter could appoint himself to the open senate seat.