Dozens of leaders in Colorado’s wildlife conservation and gun-rights communities gathered to launch the Sportsmen and Gun Owners for Brauchler coalition in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler last Saturday in Douglas County.
“This coalition solidifies statewide support for the Brauchler for governor campaign with a very important, reliably Republican constituency,” said coalition co-chair Chris Dorsey, whose Littleton-based Dorsey Pictures is the largest producer of outdoor adventure programming in the world. “George Brauchler understands the issues important to Colorado sportsmen and women, conservationists and gun owners, which is why his support in this and other areas is so widespread.”
The meeting included a discussion covering topics that included wolf management, hunting and fishing license fee increases and Second Amendment issues. A $3 billion industry in the Colorado, outdoor wildlife recreation supports thousands of jobs statewide, and nearly 40 percent of state residents own firearms for for hunting, recreational shooting and personal defense, organizers said.
“Colorado is blessed with the country’s richest natural resources,” said Brauchler, the 18th Judicial district attorney and a colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard. “It’s imperative that we have a highly functioning, professional team of administrators, biologists and communicators who employ best practices to deliver maximum access, quality and service to the state’s hunters, anglers and parks users.”
Among those in attendance were representatives of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, the Mule Deer Foundation, Big Game Forever, Heritage Foundation and Colorado Bowhunters Association.
Co-chairs of the coalition also include former state Wildlife Commissioners Brad Coors and Rick Enstrom, Tom Behunin of the Colorado Bowhunters Association, Russ Maclennan of Safari Club International, Denny Behrens and Kim Herzfeldt of Big Game Forever and noted wildlife sculptor Stephen LeBlanc.
Brauchler is one of eight Republicans running for governor of Colorado in next year’s election, when Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper will face term limits, with several candidates waiting in the wings. The other declared candidates are former investment banker and Mitt Romney nephew Doug Robinson, Douglas County entrepreneur and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, early Trump supporter Steve Barlock, Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez and activists Jim Lennart Rundberg and Joanne Silva.
Other potential candidates include State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, DaVita Healthcare Partners chief executive Kent Thiry, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham.