Dem candidate to visit 'Boat

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter will talk to residents and answer questions about his candidacy Friday at Creekside Cafe and Grill in Steamboat Springs.

Ritter, the former two-term Denver district attorney, was the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for governor. He will be at Creekside Cafe & Grill on 11th Street from 11 a.m. to noon to introduce himself to residents and discuss his positions on some of the issues facing Coloradans, such as referendums C and D, health care, education and water.

Evan Dreyer, Ritter's campaign coordinator, said the stop will be Ritter's first in Steamboat. He already has visited Vail, Lamar and Snowmass.

"We wanted to make him more available to the general public," Dreyer said about Friday's visit. "This will be an opportunity for people to come and listen to Bill as well as ask questions of their own."

Dreyer said Ritter is a unique candidate because he is the only one who supports referendums C and D.

"He believes that if they don't pass, Colorado won't be able to deliver on its promise that all Coloradans have their basic needs met," Dreyer said. "This is vital right now."

Ken Brenner, chairman of the Routt County Democratic Party, said he is very excited that Ritter will be able to meet and speak with residents.

"We're anxious to have some party leaders show up in North-west Colorado," he said. "It should be interesting meeting him and hearing his positions."

Ritter grew up in rural Arap-ahoe County in a family with 12 children. He began working at age 14 to help support his family and eventually worked his way through college and law school. He served as Denver district attorney for 12 years. He is a partner in the law firm of Hogan & Harston, for which he specializes in government investigations and litigation practices.

In an interview this week with Colorado Politics, News and Inside Information, Ritter said: "I have the passion, the vision, the experience and the commitment to leave a better Colorado to our children. Our state calls for an innovative leader whose experience grounds him in the issues facing ordinary people and families across this state and who is unafraid to make tough calls on their behalf."

Dreyer said Ritter will explain his stance on referendums C and D and will address such issues as affordable health care, quality education and protecting water and other natural resources.

After his visit at Creekside Cafe & Grill, Ritter will speak at the AFL-CIO convention at Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. That speech also is open to the public.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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