Quick, Shepherd out as possible U.S. attorneys

Adams County District Attorney Don Quick, reportedly at the top of the list to become Colorado’s next U.S. attorney, has apparently taken himself out of the running, as has Denver attorney Willie Shepherd, who is active in Democratic Party politics and numerous civic and philanthropic boards.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Quick decided not to pursue the top federal attorney job in Colorado for several reasons, including an ongoing investigation into the August 2007 murder of his chief deputy, Sean May, and because several prosecutors from his office have recently taken judgeships.

Eric Holder, Obama’s selection for attorney general, has been very supportive of the types of programs that have inspired Quick, who previously worked for Department of Interior nominee Sen. Ken Salazar when Salazar was Colorado’s attorney general, including three years as Salazar’s chief deputy.

Quick was re-elected to a second term in November. However, in a mid-December interview with the Colorado Independent, Quick said, “It’s difficult, timing-wise, but that part is very intriguing to me — the possibility of taking such a position under the leadership of Eric Holder. At this point, I can say I’m taking a look at it.”

However, this week Quick told Salazar, “This is where I need to be right now” — remaining as the chief prosecutor of the 17th Judicial District in Adams and Broomfield counties, according to the Rocky.

Shepherd also reportedly removed himself from the running. Former state Rep. Bernie Buescher, who had expressed interest in the job, is also out, because he was appointed Colorado’s new secretary of state.

Other possible nominees include University of Colorado Regent Michael Carrigan, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, current Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena and Stephanie Villafuerte, deputy chief of staff to Gov. Bill Ritter.

The current U.S. attorney in Colorado is Republican Troy Eid. Eid followed John Suthers, who was elected attorney general of Colorado in 2006.