Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 22, 20173min1770

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, 20173min1120

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.