Representative Diana DeGette has withdrawn her name from consideration as the replacement for Senator Ken Salazar in the U.S. Senate. In her announcement, she says her current leadership positions as Chief Deputy Whip and Vice Chair of Energy and Commerce are the best ways for her to serve Colorado. Her announcement reads, in part:

“As a Chief Deputy Whip and Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will play a significant role in formulating critical legislation, including measures addressing health care reform, global climate change, energy policy, and public lands, in the 111th Congress. Moreover, I can be more effective in ensuring that the upcoming stimulus package and highway bill benefit our state in my capacity as the most senior member of the Colorado Congressional delegation than as the most junior Senator.”

Governor Bill Ritter is expected to name a replacement soon. Whomever he selects will have to run for re-election in 2010. That means he will choose a proven fundraiser, someone with statewide appeal, and someone who will be effective immediately when Congress resumes in January.

Aside from DeGette, the names bandied about the most have been Mayor John Hickenlooper, Representative Ed Perlmutter, and Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. But, they aren’t the only ones. The Rocky Mountain News provides this list of possible replacements:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper; outgoing state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff; Reps. John Salazar, Ed Perlmutter; ….Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet; state Senate President Peter Groff; former state Senate President Joan Fitz- Gerald; former state Sen. Polly Baca; former U.S. Senate candidates Tom Strickland and Mike Miles; former U.S. Attorney Henry Solano; and former Ambassador Swanee Hunt.

The Teamsters have endorsed former state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald.

We probably don’t have long to wait for Ritter’s decision According to the Rocky Mountain News,

Various political observers said Monday that they expect Ritter to announce a pick within days, long before Salazar’s scheduled Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 15.