The Colorado Republican who helped sink Stephanie Villafuerte’s nomination to be the state’s U.S. Attorney is suggesting her decision to withdraw is linked to Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter’s announcement Wednesday he won’t seek a second term.
Villafuerte, who is Ritter’s chief of staff, withdrew as President Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominee last month, citing “political attacks.” Read her letter to Attorney General Eric Holder here.
Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams had led the charge against Villafeurte, questioning whether she’d improperly asked staffers in the Denver district attorney’s office to access a restricted law enforcement database for political purposes. In October, Wadhams wrote a strongly worded letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing doubts about Villafeuerte’s integrity, and the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), later said Villafeurte’s record before the committee was “incomplete.”
Now, Wadhams tells the Denver news site Westword that while he believes Ritter isn’t seeking another term as governor primarily because of his low poll numbers, he also thinks there’s more to the story.
“I think there’s a third element, and I don’t know what it is,” Wadhams told Westword. “I can’t help but think there’s still some splashback from the Villafuerte nomination. I don’t know what other shoe could still drop on that. But I think there’s a third factor — something else at work here.”