District Attorney Christian Champagne wants another four years as the top prosecutor for La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties.
“I really enjoy the job,” he said. “I love the chance to serve my community and do justice for victims of crimes and to try to find ways to make sure that these things never happen again.”
The 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which Champagne has led since his election a little more than three years ago, is responsible for prosecuting all state crimes in the counties it represents.
Champagne and his office have argued a range of criminal cases since 2017, including the indictment of Mark Redwine, accused of killing his 13-year-old son, Dylan, in 2012.
Eight lawyers and a staff of 21 work in the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which has a budget of more than $2.5 million in 2020.
Champagne said he is proud of the office’s work to implement alternatives to incarceration programs, including mental health and substance abuse diversion courts designed to get people resources.
“(Diversion programs are) helping to route people out of the criminal justice system who are low-needs, low-risk offenders,” Champagne said.
Champagne’s office has also taken more cases to trial in the past three years – including 40 in 2017, 38 in 2018 and 48 in 2019, Champagne said.
Trials give prosecutors information about the community’s views on crime, helping the office make better decisions about the deals it should offer and when it should bring a case before a jury, he said.
No challengers had registered as of Thursday with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Champagne said in 2016 that he’d create more alternatives to incarceration and take more cases to trial, work he plans to continue if re-elected.
“We have lived up to our promises,” he said. “But there’s more we can do to make the community stronger and the criminal justice system better.”