Thursday, November 4, 2010

Suthers re-elected; Republicans oust Treasurer Kennedy, Secretary of State Buescher

Republicans ousted the state treasurer and secretary of state in Tuesday's election as attorney general John Suthers was re-elected, giving the GOP three of five statewide elected offices.

Democrats John Hickenlooper and Joe Garcia were elected governor and lieutenant governor.

Walker Stapleton, a real estate developer and investor, defeated incumbent Democratic treasurer Cary Kennedy in a close race, while GOP election lawyer Scott Gessler beat incumbent secretary of state Bernie Buescher.

Kennedy's work as treasurer has included achieving a positive return on the investment of the state's financial reserves during the recent recession, as well as implementing bipartisan legislation to finance improvements and repairs of public schools. She also posted online, for the first time, the state's investments and a statement of cash flows and helped put in place a searchable database of the state's revenues and expenditures.

Stapleton, a relative of former President George W. Bush, argued during his campaign that Colorado should not use federal stimulus dollars to balance its budget and said he would push the General Assembly to restore a spending cap.

Gessler, a former federal prosecutor and a U.S. Army reserve veteran, has been the Colorado Republican Party's go-to lawyer on election issues for several years. He has advocated for legislation that would require all voters to show a government-issued identification card at the polls and was involved in GOP efforts to secure a favorable re-districting of legislative and Congressional seats in 2001 and 2002.

Buescher, a former state representative from Grand Junction, was appointed secretary of state after Republican Mike Coffman was elected to Congress in Nov. 2008.

Suthers, a former U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado, beat Boulder county district attorney Stan Garnett despite reports that a man whom he had released from jail under a plea bargain had gone on to commit several murders.

Photo of treasurer-elect Walker Stapleton courtesy of Stapleton for Colorado.