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Citing the bowing out of state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman from the race to keep her seat, Republican George Brauchler announced his switch from the 2018 race for governor to vie for the attorney general spot.
Brauchler, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, has positioned himself, so far, as the only conservative in the race to replace Coffman, a Republican, in the November 2018 election.
“Progressives on the other side of the political aisle had spent many months raising mountains of cash to capture the position that plays such a vital role in protecting our state and way of life,” Brauchler said in an emailed statement.
Brauchler presently faces five opponents, all Democrats, according to filings with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office: Michael Dougherty, the assistant district attorney for the 1st Judicial District, which includes Jefferson and Gilpin counties; Brad Levin, an attorney in Denver; Amy Padden, former assistant Colorado attorney general and former executive assistant United States attorney for the District of Colorado; state Rep. Joe Salazar, a civil rights attorney from Thornton; and Philip Weiser, former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration.
Referencing concern from friends, supporters and members of the business community about the possibility of a progressive, activist attorney general, Brauchler said the office is “a powerful position that must not fall into the hands of someone who would use it to advance extreme ideological positions, to legislate through litigation or to pick winners and losers in our economy.”
Brauchler's Nov. 13 annoucement came less than a week after Coffman announced her bid for governor Nov. 8.
Brauchler was elected district attorney in 2012 and re-elected after running unopposed in 2016. The 18th Judicial District encompasses Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties.
He gained nationwide recognition for prosecuting the case against Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, calling the case "the biggest trial in the history of the state."
Brauchler has lived in Colorado for 45 years, currently residing in Parker with his wife and four children. He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, and later graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law. He is a colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard.
Brauchler on April 5 had announced his candidacy for governor. He said Gov. John Hickenlooper has showed a “lack of real leadership at the state level.” Brauchler said he wants tougher sentences for violent criminals.
During his run for governor, Brauchler said he would push for stronger minimum sentences for DUI and homicide offenders.
Coffman enters a gubernatorial race that has more than 20 candidates seeking to replace John Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat.
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