Friday, December 19, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter announced today he has selected state Rep. Bernie Buescher of Grand Junction to serve as Colorado's next Secretary of State.
"Bernie Buescher is the perfect person to serve all of the people and all of the businesses of Colorado as the leader of this important statewide office," Gov. Ritter said. "He will bring a wealth of knowledge and a diversity of legal, legislative and public-service experience to the job. He has led private businesses and government agencies, and he has managed large workforces and multimillion-dollar budgets.
"In addition to his impressive list of accomplishments, Bernie also knows what it takes to govern well," Gov. Ritter said. "He works in a bi-partisan – even a non-partisan -- fashion. He listens to all sides to find common ground. And as a resident of Grand Junction, he will bring a statewide perspective to a statewide office."
Pending Senate confirmation, Buescher will replace Mike Coffman, who is stepping down midway through his four-year term after being elected to Congress in November. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs will serve as acting secretary in the interim.
"I am excited about the opportunity to give Colorado voters confidence that we have the highest-caliber, most transparent and most efficient elections possible," Buescher said. "I am equally excited about working with the business community to improve the ease and utility of the business filing side of the Secretary of State's Office.
"I look forward to working with county clerks, county commissioners, the Governor's Office and the legislature," Buescher added. "I appreciate the expressions of support from friends, colleagues and county clerks, and I am grateful to Gov. Ritter for his confidence in my ability to serve as Colorado's next Secretary of State."
About Bernie Buescher:
Family: Married to Mary Beth Buescher, four grown children.
Education: Graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1967, from the University of Notre Dame in 1971 with a B.B.A in business administration and accounting, and from the University of Colorado Law School in 1974 with a J.D.
Business: President of West Star Aviation Inc., 1987-1996, growing the company from 28 employees to more than 200 and from $3.8 million in annual sales to $34 million.
Government: Executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, April 1997 to March 1998; interim manager of the Colorado State Fair, December 1996 to March 1997; and member of the Colorado Transportation Commission (1994-97) and Colorado Economic Development Council (1991-94).
Legislature: Two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, January 2005 to January 2009, serving as chairman of the Joint Budget Committee and House Appropriations Committee.