Phil Weiser, former deputy assistant attorney general for President Barack Obama, has announced his run for Colorado attorney general, joining four other Democratic candidates who have announced their candidacy for the November 2018 election.
Other Democratic candidates currently registered, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, include Michael Dougherty, Brad Levin, Amy Padden and Joseph Salazar.
Weiser, who visited Durango on Thursday, said he has served as a law clerk for Judge David Ebel on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
He also worked in President Bill Clinton’s Department of Justice before taking a job as a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where he served as dean.
Weiser spent time working in the Obama administration as a deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice and as a senior adviser for technology and innovation on the White House’s National Economic Council.
Weiser, speaking to The Durango Herald, took issue with current Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, saying since she was elected in 2014, Coffman has been on the “wrong side of many issues, been missing in action or running to the right wing of the Republican Party.”
The Democratic hopeful said there is significant importance to the attorney general at the state level, especially since the Trump administration has caused turmoil in Washington, D.C. The Colorado attorney general has a staff of about 480 people.
“We need the people of this country and the people of our state to be behind the ideas of our constitutional values, which includes equality for all,” Weiser said.
Weiser placed importance on ensuring constitutional freedoms, opportunity for all and protections for the environment as it relates to air, land and water.
“You need to help enforce the law as an engine of progress and protections for all Coloradans,” he said.
It’s unclear if Coffman, who beat Democrat Don Quick 54 to 40 percent, intends to run again. Coffman is listed as active on the state’s website but has not announced publicly her intention to run again.