George Brauchler, the 48-year-old Republican candidate for attorney general, said Tuesday that despite the partisan issues clouding the political climate, his party allegiance won’t stand in the way of doing his job.
Brauchler, currently the district attorney in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District – which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, the largest judicial district in the state – spoke Tuesday with The Durango Herald’s editorial board.
“As attorney general, I stand for the rule of the law,” Brauchler said.
Even if a law doesn’t align with his personal beliefs, Brauchler said he will uphold the laws that govern the residents of Colorado.
“If anyone comes in and tells you they’re taking a different approach, that’s not the rule of law. That’s the rule of whim. That’s not what you want from the attorney general,” he said.
Brauchler, who prosecuted Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, was initially part of the crowded race for governor but exited the primary in favor of the attorney general’s race in November, after current Attorney General Cynthia Coffman joined the governor’s race.
Brauchler is running against Democrat Phil Weiser, a former dean at the University of Colorado Law School who also worked in the U.S. Department of Justice under the Obama administration. Brauchler said despite Weiser’s accomplishments, his résumé doesn’t qualify him to be attorney general, citing the fact that Weiser has never practiced Colorado law.
“You don’t pick a captain of a team from someone who never played the sport,” Brauchler said.
He also criticized Weiser’s promise to have Colorado join a multi-state lawsuit against big pharmaceutical companies for over-prescribing opioid drugs, but not because he doesn’t support the lawsuit. He said as attorney general, he would review the documents and make sure there is enough evidence to support a lawsuit.
“What concerns me is when someone, who has never practiced Colorado law and not set foot in a Colorado courtroom, declares, as a matter of political expediency, ‘elect me and I will drag Colorado into a lawsuit,’” he said.
Representatives for Weiser didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment Tuesday evening.
Brauchler said that in the unlikely scenario the federal government intervenes in Colorado’s state marijuana laws, despite personal opposition to the legalization of marijuana, he would look into any potential legitimate argument that could trump the supremacy clause the federal government has over states.
“I would resist with whatever legal or political tools against any attorney general that comes in here and tries to impose federal marijuana law on top of us in an area where we have decided how we want to govern ourselves,” Brauchler said.