Democrat Joe Salazar endorsed by Bernie Sanders-aligned Our Revolution group for attorney general

Author: Ernest Luning - December 20, 2017 - Updated: December 20, 2017

State Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, announces in a Facebook Live video that the Bernie Sanders-aligned organization Our Revolution has endorsed his campaign for attorney general. (Via Facebook)State Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, announces in a Facebook Live video that the Bernie Sanders-aligned organization Our Revolution has endorsed his campaign for attorney general. (Via Facebook)

Our Revolution, the national progressive organization spun off from the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, is getting behind Democrat Joe Salazar and his campaign for Colorado attorney general, the Thornton lawmaker announced Wednesday.

“That’s really big for this campaign,” Salazar said in a Facebook Live video unveiling the endorsement, which he added he’d learned about Tuesday night and had been “on pins and needles wanting to tell you about it.”

Salazar, one of five Democrats running for the open attorney general seat in next year’s election, told Colorado Politics the endorsement underlines his bona fides with progressives and Sanders supporters, who could wield outsized influence in the upcoming March caucuses and June primary.

“Our Revolution is a national organization that endorses only truly progressive candidates,” Salazar said. “Receiving their endorsement was a grueling process. I first had to receive endorsements from state-level Our Revolution chapters. And then my progressive credentials were checked at the national level.

“Bottom line, what this endorsement shows is that there is no other attorney general candidate who has fought in the trenches for Coloradans like I have. We have an opportunity to show the rest of the country what a progressive attorney general can do.”

Among the first Colorado officials to endorse Sanders last year, Salazar was a prominent and vocal supporter of the Vermont senator, who prevailed over eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Colorado’s caucuses by nearly 20 points.

Last May, Sanders endorsed Salazar’s House reelection campaign and included him in a fundraising appeal sent to Sanders’ massive email list of supporters. In the first 24 hours, that brought in contributions to Salazar totaling some $50,000 and eventually yielded roughly $125,000, Salazar told Colorado Politics.

Reiterating some of his key campaign themes, Salazar pointed to his progressive credentials in an entry about the endorsement on the Our Revolution website.

“I have fought for income equality; supported a universal healthcare program; strengthened anti-discrimination laws; eliminated debtors prisons; fought to protect the environment from fossil fuel polluters; passed a bill to track hate crimes; and I oppose criminalizing the homeless,” Salazar wrote. “At the Capitol, Standing Rock and on the streets, I stand with Coloradans for our children and our future. I will take the Office of the Attorney General out of the hands of special interest and big corporations and return it to the People.”

Four other Democrats are running for the office held by Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who announced last month she was running for governor instead of seeking a second term. Salazar’s primary rivals are former University of Colorado Law School dean Phil Weiser, prosecutor Michael Dougherty, former federal prosecutor Amy Padden and Denver attorney Brad Levin. Across the aisle, George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial district attorney, is the only Republican running for the office.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.