Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 19, 20173min117
Colorado is open to the idea of voting for candidates who don’t have a party, according to a survey released Thursday by the Centrist Project Institute. The survey indicates 85 percent of Coloradans would consider candidates who don’t belong to a party, and 53 percent don’t like the way Democrats and Republicans are running the […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 13, 20174min7930
Walker Stapleton
Walker Stapleton is the latest candidate to join the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett/Colorado Springs Gazette)


Aha, Colorado voters got their first official look at Walker Stapleton’s direct and immediate donors Thursday, if they have no life and they were reading the Colorado Secretary of State’s website at 6:45 p.m., when it showed up.

And there’s $250,000 that the state treasurer is putting into his own race for governor, even though indications are he’ll be generously supported by the well-known state Republicans.

The disclosure is the product of a goof.

In 2016 House Bill 1282 was meant to require daily reporting on late-game donations in school board races, but when it became law it inadvertently looped in statewide races. As a result, candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer have to immediately send in their donations of more than $1,000 instead of putting them on a single comprehensive report of donors due in January.

The governor hasn’t called a special session to fix it.

Stapleton’s alleged super-PAC is unquestionably packed with cash

Stapleton has turned in a handful of $1,000-and-up donations since he started fundraising on Oct. 1, including one from car dealer Mike Shaw at $1,150, but the big piece of pie was his own contribution to the race. He officially announced his intention to run just about three weeks ago, which Colorado Politics was the first to report.

“Walker is committed to beating Congressman (Jared) Polis and saving hardworking Colorado families from the Congressman’s inane plans to run the energy industry out of Colorado and force all Coloradans onto government-run healthcare,” his campaign consultant Michael Fortney told Colorado Politics Thursday night.

“Walker has a strong grassroots organization, a proven ability to raise the funds necessary to win in November, and the commitment to invest his own money to protect our state.”

He faces a large field of Republicans before he would have the chance to face Polis, the sitting U.S. House member, who has his own crowded primary to contend with.

Stapleton faces Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell, retired investment banker Doug Robinson among a total of seven primary opponents.

Polis has eight opponents in the Democratic primary for office being vacated by Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited. The field includes Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former state Sen. Michael Johnston.


Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 12, 20175min898
Here’s something I bet you haven’t heard anywhere else: The Colorado House and Senate each could flip next year. OK, maybe you’ve heard half that. The Republicans hold just a one-seat edge in the 35-member Senate, which will see 17 seats on the ballot next year. But the House? Democrats enjoy a nine-seat majority in […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningAugust 25, 201710min1420

The gloves are off and the fur is flying in the Republican primary for Colorado's next state treasurer. In a series of emails sent to state GOP activists and donors Thursday, state Rep. Polly Lawrence accused her fellow state treasurer candidate state Rep. Justin Everett and his allies — "his minions" was the phrase she used — of spreading lies and mounting "traitorous attacks" on her, while an independent expenditure committee backing Everett blasted Lawrence for "lying to get re-elected, only to conspire with liberals and vote like Democrats."

Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 22, 20173min1200

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 BunchJoey BunchMarch 10, 20173min560

State Rep. Joe Salazar, a bulldog on civil rights and fixture at protest rallies, will be a candidate for attorney general next year. He filed his campaign committee paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday morning.

The Democrat from Thornton had considered a run for governor.

As a civil rights attorney in the era of Donald Trump, however, he said his interests and talents are in fighting the administration’s potential abuses.

“My platform is to protect Coloradans, which is what I’ve always done here with the state of Colorado as a legislator and as well as a civil rights attorney and before that a community activist,” Salazar said outside the Capitol building.

“I’ve always been about protecting Coloradans.”

Incumbent Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican, is considered a potential candidate for governor next year, but could seek another term as the state’s top prosecutor.

Coffman’s signature political achievement in office (besides seeking to remove state Republican Party chairman Steve House) has been fighting President Obama’s climate-change policies.

“That’s why people live here in the great state of Colorado, because of our environment,” Salazar said outside the Capitol, lifting his palms toward the mountains to the west. “I’m going to protect our environment and make sure we have clean water and clear air for our kids and our grandkids.”

He said there would be plenty he could do as attorney general to oppose the Trump administration.

He pointed to attorneys general in Washington and Hawaii who have successfully opposed “his massive overreach and the unconstitutional way he’s been operating as a president.”

Salazar, leader of a maverick coalition called the Doghouse Dems, is often in the doghouse with fellow Democrats and is a thorn in the side of Republicans on LGBTQ rights, homeless camping and immigration.

Salazar was elected to the House in 2012, with more than 60 percent of the vote, over Beth Martinez Humenik, who is now a state senator. In 2014, he squeaked by in his re-election, winning by just 221 votes, then rebounded to an 11-point win last November.

Running for attorney general would prevent Salazar from running for re-election for the competitive northern metro Denver district that Republicans have felt they could win the last two election cycles.

This session Democrats have a 37-28 majority in the House.