Club 20, an area political group, praised Gov. Bill Ritter's lone Western Slope cabinet appointment on Wednesday, calling the selection a "tremendous" addition to the new governor's administration.
On Saturday, Ritter announ-ced Russell George -- a former state House of Representatives speaker -- will lead the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Club 20, a non-partisan political coalition of members from 22 western counties, had criticized Ritter for a lack of Western Slope representation on his cabinet.
In a press release issued Monday, Reeves Brown, executive director of the organization, said Club 20 "enthusiastically embraced" George's appointment.
"We have been impressed at the caliber of talent which the governor has been assembling for his cabinet, and Russ will be a tremendous addition to that team," Brown said in the release. "Russ is respected across the aisle and across the divide as a thoughtful leader who knows how to build consensus on tough issues."
He added, "I think it's safe to say that no one knows transportation in this state like Russ George."
Brown, while being a vocal critic of the governor's appointments, said Club 20 supports the picks.
"I think Gov. Ritter is all about being inclusive, and I think he's been very sensitive to our suggestion of the value of having more geographic diversity on his cabinet," he said. "This most recent appointment of Russ George is evidence that Gov. Ritter knows how to find talent and he fully intends that there's room in the Colorado Promise for everyone in Colorado, from Broomfield to Bayfield."
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.