A few years ago, it seemed he would be a lasting figure in Colorado politics — if he didn't move into the national spotlight. Young, bright, hardworking and politically clever, Romanoff had it all. But he also had a lot of company in the Colorado Democratic Party. After running up against a term limit as the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives in 2008, Romanoff didn't have a lot of options.
Then, in January 2009, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar resigned his post to join the Obama administration. Gov. Bill Ritter had the opportunity to appoint a replacement, and Romanoff was an obvious choice. But, in a surprising move, Ritter chose Michael Bennet, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, instead.
Romanoff clearly felt passed over. In 2010, he ran a primary against Bennet, and even put his home on the line to finance the campaign. He lost.
Romanoff left politics and began working for a Lakewood organization that helps families in developing countries. It seemed we wouldn't hear more from him on the political scene.
And we haven't. But we have heard about Romanoff in a recent e-mail from Gov. John Hickenlooper, a fellow Democrat and a friend of Romanoff's. Apparently, the former House speaker hasn't quite recovered after losing his home, and Hickenlooper hopes his supporters might help.
I've known Andrew Romanoff for more than a decade and can think of few Coloradans who have given more of themselves — literally — to public service.
Andrew won national acclaim as one of the most effective legislative leaders in America. As the Speaker of the House, he forged consensus among Democrats and Republicans on issues that had long seemed intractable. When our state faced a deep recession, some people told me to jump in a lake for Referenda C and D, but Andrew convinced me to jump out of a plane!
Andrew has championed causes we care about, including affordable housing, early childhood education, and mental health care. And he is still at it, turning his considerable talent to the battle against global poverty.
Bipartisan leaders like Andrew don't come around very often. We should let him know we appreciate all that he has done, and all he is doing, to make our world a better place.
As you may know, Andrew sold his house to finance his last campaign. That left him $250,000 in debt. Please join me in helping retire Andrew's debt.
The maximum contribution is $2,400 per person. I am pleased to make that investment. I know Andrew will appreciate any amount you can afford.
Please click here to make a donation.
Andrew Romanoff has been a great friend whose public service has benefited all Coloradans.
John W. Hickenlooper
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