The very excellent Mitchell Byars of the Boulder Daily Camera put to rest a will he, won’t he question that’s lingered in the state political conversation: Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett won’t be a candidate for Congress or attorney general next year. But in 2020, look out, Cory Gardner.
“I’ve had a lot of people encourage me to run for Congressional District 2 and attorney general, but I’ve passed on both of those,” Garnett said and Byars reported. “I’m really committed to staying focused on the reform work we’re doing at the DA’s office.”
Moreover, Garnett has even endorsed 2nd CD candidate Joe Neguse in the race to replace Jared Polis, who is running for governor next year. It was a quick endorsement, too, given that the race could attract a lot of big-name Democrats, unless Neguse’s people score the early endorsements and funding to scare off others.
Mid-term elections aren’t usually good for Democrats in Colorado, and, as I told you in my Insights column a couple of weeks ago, it’s foolish to assume now that Republican candidates will pay a price President Trump’s controversies, policies or personality.
Byars cites an apparently now-deleted Facebook post in which Garnett said he would “look closely at a certain 2020 US Senate race,” and not the AG’s race.
Speculation was not baseless. Garnett filed an affidavit with the Secretary of State’s Office regarding the attorney general’s race on March 9 and terminated it on April 10. Yet the talk has continued, so Byars could have the last word.
Garnett — the father of rising legislative star Rep. Alec Garnett of Denver, the former executive director of the state Democratic party — would be as noteworthy a name to face Gardner as we’ve heard. Except one.
This humble scribe is on record saying Gov. John Hickenlooper is the Democrat Gardner will have to tangle with in 2020. Hick hasn’t said, but plenty of Democrats close to him who we drink with us … uh, have lunch with us … say the nomination is the governor’s to lose.
The trickle-down of local politics means Rep. Mike Foote of Lafayette, one of the two or three most skilled legislators under the gold dome, stays put in the state House. A deputy district attorney, Foote is viewed by insiders as a shoo-in to be heir apparent in the Boulder DA’s office. Foote was discussed by party operatives last year as a possible recruit for the attorney general’s race, but he told Colorado Politics then he wasn’t getting in.
The Democratic primary so far includes state Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, former assistant attorney general Michael Dougherty, former University of Colorado Law School dean Phil Weiser and Denver lawyer Brad Levin.
Incumbent Attorney General Cynthia Coffman could opt to enter a crowded GOP primary for governor, which would touch off a lightning round for potential Republican AG candidates. Scott Gessler, you have a call on line 1.