Saturday, December 20, 2008

Peña says he doesn't want U.S. Senate appointment

Federico Peña is not interested in being appointed to Ken Salazar's U.S. Senate seat, he announced Saturday in a press release acquired by the Rocky Mountain News.

"Many names, including mine, have been mentioned as possible candidates to fill the United States Senate seat being vacated by my friend Ken Salazar. I am enormously proud that Ken has been appointed to serve as our nation’s next Interior Secretary, a position I am certain he will carry out with distinction," Peña said in the release.

"I have, however, advised Gov. Ritter that I do not wish to be considered as a candidate for the critical Colorado United States Senate position," Peña continued in the release. "It is my desire to remain in Colorado and to continue to advise and assist President-Elect Obama in any way I can from my home in Denver. I wish to thank the many friends and supporters who have expressed their support for my candidacy."

Peña, a former Denver mayor and Clinton Cabinet official who serves on President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, would certainly be able to raise prolific amounts of money quickly -- a critical ability for any Democratic appointee hoping to hold onto the seat in 2010. Many Democrats would also be pleased to keep a Latino in Salazar's Senate seat.

But Peña hasn't run for public office since winning re-election as mayor of Denver in 1986. And he'd have to give up a lucrative career in the private-sector -- now that he'll have the ear of the president of the United States, he'll be more in demand than ever.

Salazar is resigning from the Senate to become Obama's U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

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