DENVER - Ute Mountain Ute Vice Chairman Gary Hayes had a front-row seat for the State of the State speech.
Hayes wants to keep up the communication the Ute tribes and Gov. Bill Ritter's office have established the last few years. He's especially hopeful that federal and state money will arrive to repair U.S. Highway 491.
"In order for us to have sound economic development, we've got to have infrastructure to handle that traffic," Hayes said.
Hayes found himself at the end of a row of dignitaries that simmered with political intrigue. Hayes sat to the right of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who Ritter passed over for a Senate appointment. Ritter's choice, Michael Bennet, sat next to Hickenlooper. And Attorney General John Suthers, who wants to challenge Bennet in 2010, sat just two seats away.