Steamboat Springs Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that he wouldn't seek re-election in November.
He issued this statement:
"Almost five years ago, in the spring of 2005, I began running for governor of Colorado. My campaign theme — the Colorado Promise — was a deeply held belief that we as a state were not living up to our full potential. So we laid out a vision to create a New Energy Economy, to build up other Industries of the Future like aerospace and the biosciences, to reform our education and healthcare systems, and to modernize our transportation system.
Today, even in the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression, that vision is becoming a reality. We are leading Colorado forward. People all across Colorado are fulfilling the Colorado Promise, and Colorado is on the road to recovery. It is my privilege and my honor to serve as governor of the greatest state in America.
Over the past years, but particularly over this last year, I have attempted to balance many roles in my life. I have been the governor, I have been a candidate for re-election, and I have also been a husband and a father. I am proud of my work as governor. I am proud of the direction of the state. I am proud of my campaign, of the staff we have built, and of our re-election efforts.
It is my family who has sacrificed the most, my wife, Jeannie, my kids, three of whom are here today. I have not found the proper balance where my family is concerned, and I have not made them the priority they should be. So today I'm announcing that I'm ending one of my roles. I am no longer a candidate for re-election this November.
This will allow me to concentrate on the things that are most important — taking care of my family, and taking care of Colorado.
I'm 53 years old. I have been in the public sector or public service for most of the past 30 years. I still have one son in college and two children living at home, and they need me. And so does Jeannie.
While this decision allows me to make my family a priority, it also allows me to focus on keeping the state budget balanced and keeping Colorado on the road to recovery.
The Colorado economy is getting better, but we still have budget-cutting to do on the 09-10 and 10-11 budgets, and we'll be submitting the 11-12 budget in November. By not running for re-election, I'll be able to make the tough and unpopular decisions that simply need to get made — free and clear of the sometimes bitter partisan politics of an election year.
We're positioning Colorado for a strong recovery with our New Energy Economy, our job-creation strategies and our education reforms. The rest of the country is looking to Colorado on everything from the economy to energy to education. We're in a great position, and we're on the right path.
I look forward to spending the next 12 months keeping our budget balanced and our economy growing."