Infrastructure and education were main topics of Republican gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler’s meeting with the public Tuesday morning at the Durango Recreation Center.
Brauchler currently serves as district attorney for roughly 1 million people in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, the largest district in Colorado that encompasses Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties. Brauchler, who has served as district attorney since 2012, gained notoriety a year into his term when he sought the death penalty for Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes.
Brauchler is one of eight Republicans running in a crowded gubernatorial race that currently has 22 candidates. Other Republicans in the race include Doug Robinson, a former investment banker and Victor Mitchell, an entrepreneur and businessman.
Brauchler discussed the quality of the roads throughout the state, saying infrastructure is one of his key campaign issues. He suggested infrastructure projects could be paid for by making changes to the way the Medicaid program is administered, because he believes many people on the program should not be.
On education, Brauchler advocates teaching vocational classes in state high schools.
“What are we doing with the students not graduating?” Brauchler said. “Those students don’t disappear. What are we doing for those kids?”
Brauchler also told the group of 20 people that he wants to decentralize Colorado by relocating several of the state’s agencies. He said if elected governor, he would ask agencies to tell him what the benefit of being headquartered in Denver would be, and where the next best location in the state for their headquarters would be.
“I think what you’ll see is a lot of these agencies won’t be able to justify staying in Denver,” he said.” “If you can do it for a fraction of the cost, who’s going to be against it?”
Republicans have a had a tough time campaigning for Colorado’s governor’s office, having won twice since 1974. Bill Owens, who served from 1999-2007, was the last Republican Colorado governor.
Brauchler will return to Durango on Aug. 15 as the keynote speaker for the Southwest Republican Women’s luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel.