Bill Ritter faced what many frustrated CSU students go through every day on Tuesday: Being late to class because of the train that cuts through campus.
Ritter, the Democratic candidate for governor, spoke to John Straayer’s State and Local Government and Politics class, the same class in which he was a student 30 years ago.
The former Denver district attorney remembered his professor as a tough grader.
“I want to start out by saying that Professor Straayer was the first person to give me a C in college,” he said, causing the room to erupt in laughter. “It goes to show you that you can get a C in college and still go on to be the governor.”
Ritter, decked in a CSU sweatshirt, spent the majority of his time in class answering questions from students, who were packed into the room so tightly that many sat on the floor.
One student asked whether it was appropriate to call Bob Beauprez “Both Ways Bob,” as the conservative Republican’s primary challenger Mark Holtzman derided him for allegedly having multiple stances on issues.
Ritter said his campaign has never, publicly, called Beauprez that name, but added: “Is it fair to call him ‘Both Ways Bob?’ Yes.”
After his visit to Straayer’s class, Ritter addressed supporters on the Lory Student Center Plaza. Despite the snow and freezing temperatures, the candidate, along with his son August Ritter, a CSU student, rallied supporters.
He also said the governor’s race presented two clear choices.
“Beauprez is very cynical, especially about me,” Ritter said. “This race is about people who hope versus people who are cynical.”
In the Plaza, Ritter was exposed to Matt Bourgault – “Brother Matt,” as he calls himself – the inflammatory street preacher who has condemned CSU students to hell for smoking pot, drinking and having sex.
“Righteousness, Mr. Bill, righteousness,” the preacher said, heckling Ritter.
Bourgault irritated several Ritter supporters as he shouted at the candidate from across the Plaza at the top of his lungs, causing some students to shout back.
Bourgault called CSU males “boys” and said the university was lacking real men.
“I don’t see any men out here,” he said, “including Mr. Ritter.”
Staff writer Skylar Rick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.