Michael Dougherty, deputy prosecutor in Jefferson County, enters Colorado’s Democratic primary for AG

Author: Joey Bunch - May 22, 2017 - Updated: May 22, 2017

Michael Dougherty, deputy prosecutor for Jefferson and Gilpin counties, says he’s running for state attorney general as a Democrat next year, releasing a statement and introduction video Monday night.

Dougherty moved to Colorado in 2010 after 12 years as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The Democratic primary field already includes Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton and former University of Colorado law school dean Phil Weiser.

Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman can run for another four years under the state’s term limits, but she also couple opt to run for governor. No other Republicans have yet filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office.

“As attorney general, I will do what I have done for my entire career, fight for what is right,” Dougherty said in a statement. “Our attorney general should share the same values of everyday Coloradans, such as protecting our water, environment and public safety.

“The attorney General has to be above politics and do the right thing for all the people of Colorado. Consumer protection, public safety, and transparency of government are non-partisan issues and I plan to work with people from all across Colorado to make real progress.”

Before joining the DA’s office in Golden, Dougherty ran the criminal justice Section of the Attorney General’s Office, supervising special prosecutions, environmental crimes, financial fraud and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Unit, according to his website.

He also represented the office in hearings and meetings with the legislature. Before taking over the Criminal Justice Section, Before that, he supervised the the Colorado DNA Justice Review Project for the AG’s office.

In 2007 Dougherty was put in charge of the management, budgeting and personnel for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has a staff of more than 1,200, while continuing to prosecute cases, he said.

Dougherty has degrees from Cornell University and Boston University Law School. He grew up in Seaford, N.Y., and notes in his bio he loaded UPS trucks and worked at a deli while he went to Nassau Community College. When he graduated from law school in 1997, the faculty gave him the class’ Community Service Award for his volunteerism and leadership with the Public Interest Project, which does pro bono public interest legal work.

Dougherty is an adjunct professor for the University of Denver Sturm School of Law and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.