Colo. Governor-Elect Makes More Appointments

Farmer and longtime Prowers County Commissioner John Stulp will be nominated to head the Colorado Agriculture Department, Gov.-elect Bill Ritter said.

The Democrat also said he would appoint Manitou Springs Mayor Marcy Morrison, a Republican, as insurance commissioner.

The announcement came a day after Ritter said he would appoint former Democratic Congressman David Skaggs as higher education chief, former Denver Auditor Don Mares to head the Labor and Employment Department and Michael Locatis as chief information officer.

Ritter said he hoped to represent all of Colorado — not just Denver — with his appointments.

“John and Marcy each will bring different and important perspectives to the Capitol,” he said.

Stulp, who ran as a Democrat for the state Senate in 1998, was a Prowers County Commissioner from 1991 until 2005 and has served on the state Board of Agriculture and Wildlife Commission. For several years he has been a leading proponent of building wind farms on the Eastern Plains to bring new economic opportunities to farmers and ranchers in the area.

Morrison served as an El Paso County commissioner from 1984 to 1992 and as a state representative from 1992 to 2000. She was elected mayor of Manitou Springs in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. She has served on the state Board of Health, and Ritter described her as a “champion of the consumer, particularly in the area of health care.”

Stulp said he grew up on a farm and knows the “hard lessons” of farming and ranching.

“I also know the good that the Department of Agriculture can provide to rural Colorado, from assisting with new opportunities like renewable energy to overcoming challenges posed by drought and disease,” Stulp said in a statement.

As insurance commissioner Morrison would be the top administrator for the Division of Insurance, which regulates the industry.

“Health care is one of my passions,” she said. “I look forward to helping the new administration and the Legislature end the crisis of the uninsured and making sure that we bring all voices together to forge a Colorado health plan for all Coloradans.”

Ritter is scheduled to be sworn in to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Owens on Jan. 9.