Election 2018News

Local officials throw support behind Democrat Phil Weiser’s attorney general bid

Author: Ernest Luning - February 7, 2018 - Updated: February 7, 2018

Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser speaks with an audience member following a candidate forum sponsored by DemEnterCO on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Wheat Ridge. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser speaks with an audience member following a candidate forum sponsored by DemEnterCO on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Wheat Ridge. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Touting his commitment to issues important to rural Colorado, five current and former county commissioners and the mayor of Telluride on Wednesday endorsed Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser, his campaign said.

“Phil Weiser is a nationwide leader on broadband and worked under President Obama on a successful bipartisan initiative to encourage wireless broadband and build a network for first responders,” said Telluride Mayor Sean Murphy in a statement.

“With Phil as our next AG, that office will move from being a bureaucratic obstacle to an engine for progress, driving broadband deployment and working with counties and localities on a range of issues, from water to workforce training.”

Eagle County commissioners Kathy Chandler-Henry and Jeanne McQueeny called Weiser a collaborative leader and also cited his dedication to providing broadband internet access across the state, as well as his work to establish a rural legal fellowship program for district attorneys offices.

Weiser, a former University of Colorado Law School dean and Justice Department official in the Obama administration, is one of four Democrats running for the office held by Republican Cynthia Coffman, who is running for governor.

The others in the primary are state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, former federal prosecutor Amy Padden and Denver attorney Brad Levin. A fifth primary candidate, Jefferson County prosecutor Michael Dougherty suspended his campaign last week to pursue appointment as Boulder County’s district attorney. George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial district attorney, is the only Republican running for the office.

Audrey Danner, head of the Mountain Connect Broadband Development Conference and a former Moffat County commissioner, praised Weiser’s leadership on broadband development, as well as his engagement with residents in Craig, the Moffat County seat.

“Few candidates for statewide office come to Craig for a whole day, listen, and learn about the issues facing northwest Colorado,” she said in a statement. “Phil Weiser did just that. And before ever running for office, he advocated for broadband deployment across our whole state. His leadership on this issue and his ability to work effectively with people around the state will make him a great attorney general.”

Arapahoe County Commissioners Nancy Jackson and Bill Holen — whose mostly suburban county includes wide-open rural stretches — said they like Weiser’s approach to workforce readiness, criminal justice and consumer protection.

“Our state is facing important challenges, including a dysfunctional federal government, irresponsible companies who take advantage of consumers and threats to our land, air, and water,” Holen said in a statement. “As our next attorney general, we can count on Phil Weiser to protect our freedoms, protect opportunities for all and protect our land, air and water.”

Jackson said in a statement: “Our state faces a number of important challenges, including preparing our workforce for 21st century jobs and reforming our criminal justice system so that we are not incarcerating people who should be receiving drug treatment and mental health services. Phil Weiser’s experience has prepared him to be our next attorney general and he will be the leader we need to work on the important issues facing our state.”

Saying he intends to represent every corner of Colorado and work to advance opportunity across the state, Weiser welcomed the endorsements.

“I have dedicated my career in public service to fighting to protect opportunity for all and will continue that fight as Colorado’s next attorney general, working to promote broadband access across our state, address the opioid epidemic and build a 21st century economy that works for all Coloradans,” he said in a statement.

Colorado’s primary is June 26.

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.