‘Kobe DA’ Hurlbert reportedly petitioning onto Senate District 16 ballot

Mark Hurlbert, who will forever be known as the “Kobe DA” for his unsuccessful prosecution of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant on sexual assault charges in Eagle County in 2003, had a really bad weekend.

The 5th Judicial District Republican DA was trounced 71 percent to 29 percent by the Tea Partier Tim Leonard in his bid to reach the primary ballot for state Senate District 16, meaning Hurlbert has until May 27 to collect 1,000 valid registered Republican signatures if he goes the petition route.

That’s a process he apparently started Monday at the Frisco Safeway, according to the Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer blog, which purports to have an email from Hurlbert soliciting support and rallying people to come out to the Safeway again today between 3 and 6 p.m.

Hurlbert is portrayed as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) on that blog and was painted an anti-gun, anti-Second-Amendment career politician at the SD 16 assembly in Loveland Friday. His resounding defeat at the hands of former American Constitution Party member Leonard prompted SD 8 state Sen. Al White to tell Hurlbert, “I’m sorry Mark,” according to the Denver Post.

White, a moderate himself, was clearly lamenting the fact that Hurlbert would have been highly electable in the independent-minded mountain communities of Summit County, where Hurlbert lives in Breckenridge. Now the Dems would appear to have a leg up holding onto the seat now occupied by Dan Gibbs, who’s quitting to run for Summit County commissioner.

Former public health nurse and Gilpin County Commissioner Jeanne Nicholson, who lives in Gilpin County just outside of Golden Gate State Park, is the Democratic pick. Leonard, whose 11-year-old son is his campaign manager, lives in Jefferson County.

Lately, Hurlbert has been taking heat for his handling of bib-swapping case in last year’s Leadville 100 mountain bike race. He issued felony charges to two women, one of whom wound up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. He also was embroiled in some small-town controversy in Leadville swirling around a sheriff’s deputy who Tasered high school students at their request.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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