The political blogs are saying today that U.S. Senator Ken Salazar from Colorado is now the leading candidate for Interior Secretary, moving ahead of Tucson congressman Raul Grijalva. No sooner did that word spread than speculation began on who Colorado governor Bill Ritter would name to the Senate to replace Salazar if he left for the Cabinet.
The first name was Salazar's brother John, who holds a House seat. But this afternoon, the name of John Hickenlooper, popular Denver mayor and former petroleum geologist, surfaced.
I briefly profiled Hickenlooper a couple months ago as one of geologists prominent in politics. After leaving Amoco in the 1980s, he opened Wynkoop Brewery in Denver's LoDo. Some of my colleagues are excited about the potential of a beer-drinking geologist in the Senate.
The announcement of Interior Secretary could come Tuesday or Wednesday according to some reports.