December 7 2004, 3:11 PM
As our new Senator-elect Ken Salazar heads off to Washington, Governor Bill Owens is considering possible replacements. Salazar has submitted a list of 29 people he'd like to see get the job. Owens does not have to consider them, but has said he will. Salazar has included both Republicans and Democrats on his list, but expressed concern yesterday at a news conference that a highly partisan Republican appointment could create a logjam in the office. Some prominent names on Salazar's list: Current deputy attorney general and former Denver DA candidate Beth McCann; outgoing DA's Bill Ritter, Bob Grant, Dave Thomas and Jim Peters, all removed by term limits. The AG's office employs 350 people. When Salazar took office in 1999, he fired all 180 of the lawyers then on staff, and later rehired all but 11. Owens is expected to make his decision sometime in December. The Senate has to confirm his appointment. Update: Owens has reduced the list of potential nominees to five -- including both Republicans and Democrats. The governor declined to reveal the names of his finalists.