CongressElection 2018Hot Sheet

Ritter throws support behind Mitsch Bush in 3rd CD Democratic primary

Author: Ernest Luning - May 16, 2018 - Updated: May 16, 2018

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Former Gov. Bill Ritter walks outside his new office, where he directs the Center for the New Energy Economy, at Colorado State University in downtown Denver on June 6, 2016. (File photo by Bernard Grant/Colorado Politics)Former Gov. Bill Ritter walks outside his new office, where he directs the Center for the New Energy Economy, at Colorado State University in downtown Denver on June 6, 2016. (File photo by Bernard Grant/Colorado Politics)

Former Gov. Bill Ritter on Tuesday endorsed Diane Mitsch Bush, one of three Democrats running for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by four-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, maintaining that the former state representative is the only candidate who can oust the incumbent Republican.

Noting that he first met Mitsch Bush in 2006, when he was running for governor and she was a Routt County commissioner, Ritter said in a statement: “Unlike so many today, Diane has a unique ability to relate to people of all walks of life, listen to voters and work tirelessly to solve constituents’ problems.”

Ritter, the director of Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy, praised Mitsch Bush as a longtime champion of the environment.

“Diane is the pioneering, forward-thinking, environmental steward we need to protect our home, Colorado’s way of living, and our economic foundation,” he said.

But it was her ability to win a Republican-held seat and win by wide margins in a district where Democrats were outnumbered by Republicans and unaffiliated voters that sealed it for Ritter.

“Diane is the candidate of the people and the only one who can turn Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District blue again,” Ritter said.

Mitch Busch is running in the June 26 primary against attorney Karl Hanlon and former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi, the Green Party nominee for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat two years ago.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.