Ken Salazar

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This is a profile of a former U.S. senator. (See all the Colorado portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Ken Salazar served as the Jr. Senator for Colorado from 2004-2009

Kenneth Lee Salazar, a Democrat, represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 2004-2009. Salazar currently serves as Secretary of the Interior for the Obama administration.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
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Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

On June 5, 2007, Sen. Salazar introduced the Iraq Study Group Recommendation Implementation Act of 2007, intended to makes the Iraq Study Group's 79 recommendations the policy of the United States, and ask the Bush administration, working with military and diplomatic leaders, to implement those recommendations. The bill is also intended to create conditions that could allow for a drawdown of American combat forces in Iraq by March 2008.

Main article: Iraq Study Group Recommendation Implementation Act of 2007
For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal


Soon after arriving in the Senate Salazar generated controversy within his party by introducing Attorney General nominee Alberto R. Gonzales and sitting by his side during Gonzales' confirmation hearings.

On May 23, 2005, Salazar was one of fourteen moderate senators to forge a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and the three most conservative Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor, Jr.) would receive a vote by the full Senate.


Salazar was born March 2, 1955 in the town of Alamosa, Colorado in the San Luis Valley area of south-central Colorado to Spanish-American parents. Senator Salazar can trace his ancestory all the way back to 12th Century Spain. Five generations of Salazar's family had farmed and ranched in San Luis Valley, since before Colorado was a state; before that, Salazar's ancestors had farmed and ranched in neighboring New Mexico.

Salazar attended St. Francis Seminary and Centauri High School in Conejos County, graduating in 1973. He later attended Colorado College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1977, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan's law school in 1981. Later Salazar was awarded honorary degrees (Doctor of Laws) from Colorado College (1993) and the University of Denver (1999).

Salazar had a private law practice until in 1986, he became chief legal counsel to then Governor Roy Romer; in 1990 Romer appointed him to his cabinet as Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

In 1994 Salazar returned to private practice. In 1998 he was elected state attorney general; he was reelected to this position in 2002.

In 2004, Salazar declared his candidacy the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. After easily defeating Mike Miles in the Democratic primary, Salazar narrowly defeated beer executive Peter Coors of the Coors Brewing Company to win. His elder brother John Salazar also had an electoral victory in 2004, winning a race for the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado's third congressional district.

He and Mel Martinez are the first Hispanic Senators since 1977. They were joined by Bob Menendez in January, 2006.

Salazar considers himself a moderate and has at times taken positions which are in disagreement with the base of his party -- for a number of years he opposed gay adoption.

Salazar has been feuding with Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based conservative religious group of national stature, over his stance on judicial nominees.

In January 2009, Salazar was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior for the Obama administration.

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the Colorado superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Ken Salazar, as a superdelegate, had not endorsed a candidate for President.

Secretary of the Interior

Ken Salazar currently serves as Secretary of the Interior for the Obama administration. On January 3, 2009, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter appointed Michael Bennet, a Democrat and former superintendent of Denver schools, to fill Salazar's vacant Senate seat. Bennet was confirmed by the Senate and took office on January 22, 2009.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Ken Salazar
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Colorado Water Conservation Board
  • Chair, Conference of Western Attorneys General
  • Chair, Great Outdoors Colorado Board
  • National Association of Attorneys General
  • Chair, Peace Officers Standards and Training Board
  • Chair, Rio Grande Compact Commission

Boards and other Affiliations

  • President's Council, American Farmland Trust
  • Board of Trustees, Colorado College

More Background Data


DC Office:
702 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0606
DC Phone: 202-224-5852
DC Fax: 202-228-5036
Web Email

District Office- Colorado Springs:
3 South Tejon, Suite 300B
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-328-1100
Fax: 719-328-1129

District Office- Denver:
2300 15th Street, Suite 450
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-455-7600
Fax: 303-455-8851

District Address - Durango:
835 East 2nd Avenue, Suite 203
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: 970-259-1710
Fax: 970-259-9789

District Office- Fort Collins:
11 Old Town Square, Suite 260
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Phone: 970-224-2200
Fax: 970-224-2205

District Office- Grand Junction:
400 Rood Avenue, Suite 213
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Phone: 970-241-6631
Fax: 970-241-8313

District Office- Pueblo:
129 West B Street
Pueblo, CO 81003
Phone: 719-542-7550
Fax: 719-542-7555

Articles and resources

Wikipedia also has an article on Ken Salazar. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.



    Local blogs and discussion sites

    External articles

    Articles by Salazar

    Semantic data (Edit data)