January 6th, 2010
04:46 PM ET
12 years ago

Retiring Colorado gov: 2010 race was 'absolutely winnable'

(CNN) - Saying the decision was "in the best interest of my family," Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter officially announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in 2010.

"Over the last years and particularly in this last year, I have attemped to balance many roles in my life," he said. "It is my family that has sacrificed the most."

Ritter, a Democrat who comfortably won a first term in 2006 over Republican Bob Beauprez, was facing a tough re-election battle against former Republican Rep. Scott McInnis. But at an emotional press conference in Denver, Ritter stressed that his decision was "intensely personal" and unrelated to his political fortunes. He said his re-election bid was going well, and argued that the race was "absolutely winnable."

"I don't live and die by polls at all," he said.

Ritter said he did not face any pressure to step aside and let another Democrat run. He also rejected talk that his decision might give Republicans a better shot at winning back the governor's mansion.

"The Democratic party has a very deep bench," he said. "There are a lot of people who are able to step in and do this job. I thought about that. It's not like I didn't make that part of my calculus."

Both the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report considered the Colorado governor's race a toss-up. There are 37 governorships are up for grabs in 2010, with Democrats defending 19 and the GOP 18.

Colorado will become the 11th open seat the Democrats have to defend. The Republicans are also defending 11 open seats.

Filed under: 2010 • Colorado
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. TCM

    the only chance you had of winning is someone, another puke liberal, who the country hates worse than you, was running against you...like Pelosi or Reid. Face it, you're toast, and you're doing the right thing for Americans by sliding back into obscurity.

    January 6, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. stevegee

    The November elections will be a landslide victory for conservatives! Update your resumes you liberal Democrats, because you'll all be out of a job.

    I'm sure Russia or some other oligarchy would be impressed with your Marxist credentials.

    January 6, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. obama the liar

    just another Democrap thrown under the osama bus.

    January 6, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Sue


    Ritter, you are a JOKE!!!!

    Did you see the recent, national polls?? You know, the "real" polls???

    You were going to get your clock cleaned by the Republican McInnis.

    There were MANY reasons that the citizens of Colorado did not want you--too many to list.

    Actually, I think that most Colorado citizens were hoping that you would stay in the elections--as they wanted to see you get clobbered.

    January 6, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Reggie

    He was ppular when elected, but his alighnment with the national democratic party hurt him badly. He would NOT have won reelection! He's running scared!!!!

    January 6, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Rickster

    lol...nice spin Ritter. Your reward for hitching your wagon to the Obama wagon is the end of your political career.

    January 6, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. ttbala

    All of you disillusioned Repubs have forgotten what your party is called these days, I don't want to repeat some of the names the repubs are being called, however, you should know that your party is in the gutter and it will take years to come out of that gutter, after what your party did to this country for the past 8 years, it is amazing how you guys are so stupid that you have the nerve to attack this administration and call this president liar after the bush/cheney LIES, do not throw a stone from a glass house!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 6, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Trent

    I'm from Colorado and believe me Bill Ritter has and will have my vote if he does reconsider. Thank God this great state has had Ritter...he's improved the state of Colorado greatly.

    January 6, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Chris - MN

    It used to disturb me to read the frothing right-wing fundies on here. Now I find it entertaining. The world of dreams they live in is particularly funny – one where a massive revolution is afoot to turn away the wide margin of voters that elected our president. And yes, it was a wide margin.

    Sure the left has setbacks, but let's get real.

    January 6, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. TOTUS 4 President

    Of course the race is absolutely winnable - by ANY candidate running against Ritter!

    January 6, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. WIlly Brown

    No it wasn't and he knows that.

    January 6, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Christine

    Why are democrat politicians bailing out? They own the WH, Senate and House? Oh, they forgot that Democrats did not own the American people. Sad to say that Democrats are slowly losing their integrity especially the President (if Obama can't keep his words, what integrity does he have?)

    The Democrats are now acting like Sarah Palin - the person they've criticized as quiter. Oh I see, they're criticism is backfiring?

    January 6, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. mimi

    at least he didnt just quit like alaska s governor when it was best for his family

    January 6, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Maggie

    It does not take much thought or intelligence to spout the drivel of hate, distain and downright rudeness. Why don't you complainers give some thought to forwarding some useful, constructive criticism rather than this drivel. Oh! I see, you are all Republicans. So sorry for you and your retoric.

    January 6, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Albo58

    Ritter has discovered too late that blindly supporting this inept President is like riding a tiger...you never dismount! Though he cowardly stated that he could have won a re-election bid, fact is, if he could, he would be running again!

    January 6, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Your comment is awaiting moderation AGAIN

    How come when all these republicans are retiring, they say they could have won etc etc. But the same MSM reporting on these retirements by the republicans are making hay out of the democratic retirements.

    HEY PEOPLE COUNT IT UP........THERE...........ARE.........MORE..........REPUBLICANS...........WHO

    I can't understand this media which is so darn LIBURAL......

    January 6, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Cynthia - Arkansas

    What has a Republican ever done for a working person? ...crickets chirping...that answer is NOTHING. If people are so quick to forget that, then they deserve every bad thing that the rich in this country can squeeze out of them. You conservatives are ridiculous. How the Republicans can get people to vote against their own best interest is beyond me. WHAT DID THE REPUBLICANS DO FOR YOU THE LAST YEARS? Outsource your job so the CEO could make more money? Raise the price of gas so their oil buddies could get more money? Go to war based on a lie so their buddies could get huge no bid contracts? Bankrupted this country and almost lead to the worst depression ever. Made America the most hated nation in the world. WAKE UP!

    January 6, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. Michael from Ventura

    Keep talking trash you right wing lunatics! The more you talk, the smarter people are getting about you. 19% of this country call you their party.....there's a reason for that! You know how to hate, spread fear and lie......nothing new there. You are a disgrace to America and so are your ring leaders.

    January 6, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. ran

    Being from CO. I can say he would have lost his reelection bid for one reason alone. Causing our MV fees to go up 80-100% during what was the worse economy since the great depression.

    Any elected official who support this action will lose also and shoud get out now if they want their party to win.

    January 6, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. Jim

    Calm down right wing nuts. Just listen to yourselves. What have your right wing nut leaders actually done for America? You had everything you wanted there for a while and it wrecked the country. You sound like the arsonists who are complaining about the way the fire department is putting out the fires that you all started.

    January 6, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |