We just received confirmation that Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett will indeed challenge Republican incumbent John Suthers for Colorado Attorney General.
Full text of the press release after the jump–says Garnett:
“I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans. The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”
As we wrote a few weeks ago, Suthers was probably going to waltz to re-election until he decided to join other state AGs in a lawsuit over health care reform. Garnett is personable and has deep fundraising ties, both of which make him a tough opponent for Suthers, and the health care lawsuit gives him a great issue to run on. While Suthers has the advantage of incumbency (if that is really an advantage in 2010), he is as dull a politician as there is in Colorado; remember, he struggled in 2006 to beat Democrat Fern O’Brien, who was one of the weakest statewide candidates of the decade. This seat is definitely now in play for Democrats.
UPDATE: The Longmont Times-Call reports:
Suthers said Garnett “will be a very viable candidate.”
But Suthers said he’s going to focus his own re-election campaign on the accomplishments of the attorney general’s office since January 2005, when Gov. Bill Owens appointed Suthers to that post to fill the vacancy created by then-Attorney General Ken Salazar’s election to the U.S. Senate.
“I’m very proud of the work the attorney general’s office has done over the last six years, in all areas,” Suthers said. “I think we’ve done great work, and I’m perfectly willing to go out and explain and discuss it and let the voters decide whether I should remain in office.”
Said Colorado Republican chairman Dick Wadhams: “From what I heard a few days ago, it sounded like the Boulder district attorney was motivated to run by his opposition to Attorney General John Suthers’ lawsuit on the (congressional) health care bill.”
“If that’s the debate the Boulder district attorney wants to have, then let the game begin,” Wadhams said.
UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels writes for The Spot:
Garnett said he doesn’t think Suthers should have joined the lawsuit over Obamacare or publicly announced he planned to vote against three of the four Colorado Supreme Court justices up for retention this year.
Garnett also singled out three amicus, or friend of the party, briefs the attorney general’s office filed: in Nebraska, over gay marriage; in Kansas, over the death penalty; and in the District of Columbia, over gun control.
He said he and Suthers also part on medical marijuana.
“I’ve tried to take a position on medical marijuana that focuses on local control of dispensaries, and managing dispensaries in a way that is consistent with Amendment 20,” Garnett said. “John has taken the position that dispensaries should be outlawed rather than regulated and I don’t think that’s a realistic position.”
For Our Attorney General
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 7, 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Alec Garnett
(720) 840 – 8132
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett Enters Bid to be Next Colorado Attorney General
Early tomorrow, Democrat Stan Garnett will file paperwork officially launching his candidacy for Attorney General of Colorado. Garnett, 53, said, “As a resident of Colorado for the past 48 years, I am honored to pursue this opportunity to serve the citizens of our wonderful State.”
“After thoughtful discussions with my family, friends, opinion leaders and constituents I am a candidate for Colorado Attorney General,” said Garnett. ”I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans. The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”
As District Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District, Stan Garnett has made prosecuting violent and sexual crimes a top priority and has established a vigorous Business and Economic Crime unit. Four murder cases (including two cold cases), have been tried under his tenure to date, more than ever before in the Twentieth Judicial District. Each has received a verdict of guilty as charged. He has forged strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies and maximized County resources to run a streamlined, effective office.
Joe Pelle, Boulder County Sheriff said, “Stan has been a hard-nosed prosecutor who has taken the time to build relationships with the Boulder law enforcement community. He will be a tough, honest Attorney General who will be on the side of the People of Colorado.”
Garnett has worked with local government personnel to further the Drug Court model, which saves substantial taxpayer dollars and helps offenders become contributing members of society.
Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and Garnett supporter said,”Stan is an excellent lawyer and a true leader. He has deep roots in the state and is committed to the safety of our communities.”
Garnett received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Colorado in 1978 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1982. Garnett’s professional affiliations include The American Bar Association, The Colorado Bar Association, The Denver Bar Association and The International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was elected and re-elected to the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education where he served as President. Garnett lives in Boulder County with his wife Brenda. Together they have two children.
For additional information, contact Stan Garnett by phone at (303) 668-3113 or (303) 499-6864 or via email at Stan.Garnett@gmail.com.