Democrat Bill Ritter announced on Wednesday the most important staffing decision of his gubernatorial office, choosing Jim Carpenter as his chief of staff. Hiring Carpenter is a strong signal that Ritter won’t make his governing decisions based on politics alone.

If Ritter were making staffing decisions based solely on politics, then campaign manager Greg Kolomitz would have gotten the chief of staff nod. Carpenter is an experienced political operative who is currently the state director for the office of Sen. Ken Salazar, but he didn’t play a major role in getting Ritter elected governor. Kolomitz may have been more directly involved with Ritter’s election victory, but Carpenter has more experience in directing a large governmental operation. In choosing qualifications and experience over political rewards, Ritter is setting a strong tone for the kind of governor he hopes to be.