Colorado Governor Touts Western Values in Democrats' Radio Address

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter touted Democrats' Western values on Saturday and said the party's presidential candidates are offering specific plans to take the country in a new direction.

"Like the people of Colorado, Americans are inventive and self-reliant, and they're looking for leaders who know how to solve problems and get results and make a positive difference," he said in the weekly Democratic radio address.

Ritter, a former Denver district attorney, was elected in 2006, becoming the fifth Democratic governor in the eight Mountain West states. In 2000, Republicans held the governorship of all eight states.

The swing has led to newfound attention for the West in the presidential election. Denver will host the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and Democrats added an early primary in Nevada.

Ritter highlighted Democrats' success in the West and said voters are tired of "Washington-style partisan gridlock."

"In Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain West, Democrats are succeeding because we provide moderate, commonsense leadership on issues most important to American families," Ritter said. "Where Washington has failed to act, we are moving ahead on issues such as immigration, domestic-energy development, education and creating new jobs for hardworking Americans."

Ritter said Democrats plan to combat growing energy prices by turning to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels.

"In Colorado, we call this the New Energy Economy," he said. "By creating a 21st century energy policy, we are creating jobs, revitalizing the economy, protecting the environment and helping secure our nation's energy future."