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Senate confirms Trump pick Jason Dunn as Colorado’s U.S. attorney

Author: Erin Prater - October 12, 2018 - Updated: October 12, 2018

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Jason Dunn (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck photo)

The U.S. Senate confirmed Jason Dunn as Colorado’s next permanent U.S. attorney by voice vote Thursday night, then left town until after next month’s midterm elections.

The Senate also confirmed 15 judges late Thursday, providing a signature walk-off for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has focused on reshaping the judiciary with more conservative jurists.

Dunn replaces Bob Troyer, an Obama administration holdover who was appointed acting U.S. attorney in 2016 and has held the job temporarily for almost two years as Colorado waited for a permanent U.S. attorney to be nominated and then confirmed.

Dunn, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in June, is a former deputy state attorney general and assistant solicitor general under former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers (now Colorado Springs’ mayor) and a shareholder at the powerful Denver law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He chairs the firm’s Political and Regulatory Law Practice Group and its State Attorneys General Practice Group.

Colorado’s Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner applauded Dunn’s nomination this summer.

“I’ve known Jason for many years, and I am confident that he will make an excellent United States attorney for the District of Colorado,” Gardner said then. “Jason has a proven record of public service and involvement in his community, and he has the integrity and character that will make Colorado proud. I will urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support his confirmation.”

Dunn likely will be faced with the Trump administration’s shifting stances on marijuana enforcement, as well as tension with local governments over federal immigration laws.

It’s unknown whether Dunn might take a more aggressive approach to enforcing federal law banning pot. Troyer has taken a mostly hands-off approach to Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry. But earlier this month, in an enforcement shift, he said Colorado’s system for regulating marijuana has too many loopholes that disguise illegal activity and jeopardize public safety and detailed his motivation for boosting scrutiny.

With the House already gone, the next time Congress conducts business will be after Election Day, Nov. 6. When lawmakers return the following week, the nation will know whether Republicans were able to retain their control of both chambers for next year.

The Associated Press and Colorado Politics reporter Ernest Luning contributed to this report.

Erin Prater

Erin Prater

Erin Prater is Colorado Politics' digital editor. She is a multimedia journalist with 15 years of experience writing, editing and designing for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing houses. Her previous positions include military reporter at The Gazette, general assignment reporter at The Huerfano County (Colo.) World, copy editor at David C. Cook publishing house and adjunct mass communication instructor at Pueblo Community College. Her bylines include The New York Times Upfront, The Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Military Spouse magazine and Omaha Magazine (Omaha, Neb.). Her syndicated bylines include The Denver Post, MSNBC.com, Military.com and wire services.