The Colorado AG enforces the state’s laws and represents the state whenever the state is a party to a case. This year, key issues will be defending the state’s decision to legalize marijuana from the U.S. Attorney General, regulating the oil and gas industry, grappling with the opioid epidemic and taking a stand on the death penalty.
The Democratic primary is crowded, and only one Republican is in the race after dropping his bid for governor. We will be updating this page with where the candidates stand on key issues as the race progresses.
Phil Weiser is a former Obama administration official and served as dean of the University of Colorado Law School from 2011 to 2016. He also worked as a law clerk for Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He told The Denver Post in May 2017 his two areas of focus would be environmental protections and consumer advocacy. Here is his website.
Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, is a member of the so-called Dog House Dems, a group of progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives. Salazar, an attorney, started his career as a civil rights attorney and criminal investigator for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. His law firm, according to his website, focuses on employment law, civil rights, constitutional law and federal Indian law. He is sponsoring a bill that would codify a lower court decision in the Martinez v. COGCC, currently before the Colorado Supreme Court, to require state regulators to consider public health and safety and the environment before issuing oil and gas drilling permits. Priorities listed on his website also include support for victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence, criminal justice reform, the death penalty, which he opposes, cannabis, and immigration.
Brad Levin, a Denver-based attorney the law firm Levin Sitcoff, who did not gather enough signatures to make it on the primary ballot in June, the Secretary of State announced on April 24. A list of his accomplishments includes several seven-figure settlements with insurance companies. His website states he wants to protect “consumers of Colorado from fraudulent business practices” and that he will “protect Coloradans from any special interest seeking to take advantage of our environment for their own financial gain.”
Also out is Amy L. Padden is a Denver prosecutor who served as executive assistant U.S. Attorney under Loretta Lynch, who withdrew he petition on Monday and did not gather enough delegate votes at the state assembly. Her website says her priorities include civil justice reform, including increasing drug rehabilitation and ending laws that have a disparate impact on communities of color; civil liberties, including the right to an abortion; the environment, taking enforcement action against environmental abusers; sexual harassment and assault; immigration; police accountability and opioids.
George Brauchler, District Attorney representing the 18th Judicial District, is the only Republican in the race. According to his website, his priorities include “protecting our families,” which includes cracking down on illegal marijuana sales, pursuing the death penalty and a multi-faceted approach to the opioid epidemic; “economic fairness,” such as stopping Medicaid and Food Stamp fraud, pursuing those who profit off of labor trafficking, fewer fees for businesses and protecting consumers from fraud; and protecting the state’s legalization of marijuana and water rights, among others.
Title Photo: Colorado Supreme Court in Denver. Photo by John Herrick