Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, as Colorado's next Secretary of State today.
Buescher has previously served in the state's executive branch and has been a businessman on the western slope for many years.
“Bernie Buescher is the perfect person to serve all of the people and all of the businesses of Colorado as the leader of this important statewide office,” Ritter said. “He will bring a wealth of knowledge and a diversity of legal, legislative and public-service experience to the job. He has led private businesses and government agencies, and he has managed large workforces and multimillion-dollar budgets."
Buescher, who recently lost his bid for re-election to Republican Laura Bradford, had been expected to succeed Rep. Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, as the next speaker of the house.
He will replace Republican Mike Coffman, who was elected to represent Colorado's 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives in November.
Buescher will have to stand for election in 2010 if he wishes to retain the seat.