Ken Salazar

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Ken Salazar is the United States Secretary of the Interior. He was appointed by President Obama in January 2009. Salazar had previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado (first elected in 2004). He was the first Hispanic/Latino elected to federal office from that state and was the only Hispanic/Latino Democratic Senator.

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Background

Salazar was born in Antonito, Colorado on March 2, 1955. He graduated from Colorado College in 1977 and the University of Michigan School of Law in 1981. He was in private practice from 1981 to 1986, specializing in water law. In 1986 he became chief legal counsel to Governor Roy Romer. He was Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources from 1990 to 1994, when he returned to private practice. He was also the first Executive Director of Great Outdoors Colorado, the state government's open space authority.

Salazar was elected Attorney General of Colorado in 1998, and was reelected in 2002. He was the first Hispanic/Latino to be elected to statewide office in Colorado. As Attorney General, he is best known for his successful lawsuit against the Secretary of State and the then-Republican controlled state legislature to block a scheme to re-redistrict the state's U.S. Congressional districts. He also filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the affirmative action plan at his alma mater, the University of Michigan law school.

Ken Salazar has so far voted as a centrist Democrat to the right of the Congressional party, for example, as one of the few Democrats to support President Bush's appointment of Alberto Gonzales as United States Attorney General. Salazar received praise from many Democrats for his war of words with James Dobson of Focus on the Family after Dobson labeled Salazar, who is a practicing Catholic, "anti-Catholic" as part of an advertising campaign related to federal judicial nominations.

Senate Committees

  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Contact Information

GovTrack link

External links

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