BREAKING: Garnett Will Run For Attorney General

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.”

Press Release

Stan Garnett

For Our Attorney General


April  7, 2010


(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  


50 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Earnest says:

    When was the last time an incumbent AG lost a bid for re-election?  Did it happen in the 1990’s?

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    from the description of Fern O’Brien as having been so weak.  I found her a highly intelligent and actually well qualified candidate.  The problem was that she couldn’t raise any money to overcome Suthers’ advantage in name recognition.  If Stan can raise the cash, he can give Suthers a run for the roses.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      But she was completely unknown, totally new to electoral politics and had no ability to raise money. That’s a weak candidate in our book.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        That just cracks me up to no end, for some stupid reason.

        Personally, I think this is great news and I will stop giving you shit about the Big Line Odds on this one.  

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        she still ran a close race without having two dimes to run together.  That suggests several things, including the fact that Fern’s personal qualities did help with the few voters she could reach.  The real point, of course, other than 06 having been a good Democratic year, is that Suther’s record doesn’t indicate the kind of political invincibility so many Ds seemed to think he had until Stan jumped in.  

          I never heard of him before the lst few weeks but I know and like a lot of his backers, like Jean Dubofsky.   The point is simply that if he can raise the cash you seem to think he can, Stan can make this a very competitive race.

        • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

          If Garnett significantly outraises Suthers. This was definitely the worst-case scenario for Suthers, but he has nobody to blame but himself (and whoever coerced him into that stupid health care lawsuit).

        • Danny the Red (hair)Danny the Red (hair) says:

          He will be unable to do so after the the Health care lawsuit.

          • Fidel's dirt nap says:

            Because he couldn’t help himself and decided to be such a partisan asshole, Suthers is going to get a run for his money.  


          • ThillyWabbit says:

            But he didn’t act as one. The AG has to sign off on emergency rule changes, including Gigi Dennis’s requiring retroactive proof of citizenship (as opposed to mere affirmation, as is required by every other type of committee–federal or state) for donors to small donor committees, in order to cut out union money in the middle of the election cycle.

        • ThillyWabbit says:

          The average voter thought they were voting for the O’Brien that was on the Governor’s ticket.

          • Earnest says:

            I didn’t realize the average voters was so stupid!

            • RedGreenRedGreen says:

              You way over-estimate the amount of attention the average voter pays to down-ticket races. You think even 10 percent of registered voters can even name the lieutenant governor right now?

              • Middle of the Road says:

                At our caucus (so let’s keep in mind these are the voters that are the most engaged), at least half of them didn’t even know who our House District rep was.

                To Earnest, this doesn’t mean voters are stupid–they’re just not as engaged as you obviously are.  

              • Earnest says:

                Too much so, evidently.

                I started from the notion that the average voter wouldn’t vote for the same person twice on the same ticket (for both LG and AG).  But, I suppose the theory is that people had no idea who was running for LG, and didn’t vote for anyone for LG, but when they continued reading down the ballot, they saw the name “O’Brien” and said, “hey!”, I know that name, and even though I don’t know which office that name is running for, I will check the box.

                Is that the theory?

        • Ralphie says:

          If she had been a stronger candidate, she WOULD have had two dimes to rub together.

          I know that goes counter to some of the rhetoric in the Senatorial race, but it’s true.

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            Because so many donors assumes Fern O’Brien had no chance, they gave her no money.  Because she had no money, it confirmed their theory that she had no chance.

            In the end, when she almost beat Suthers, a lot of smart money realized they had missed a good bet.

            I’m not trying to soak a crying towel for Fern.  I simply want to point out that if an underfunded candidacy almost beat Suthers in an admittedly Democratic year, a well-funded challenge could well topple him in a year when his own base is in disarray.  If he panders more to the Teabaggers with radical-right nullification lawsuits (Shades of John C. Calhoun) then he will alienate moderate voters who will decide the general election.

  3. allyncooper says:

    Anything or anybody is better than Suthers. His bonehead challenge to health reform and his meddling in the Supreme Court retention process is reason enuf to challenge him.  

  4. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Surely, he meant to say “The Liberal Boulder District Attorney.”

    I mean, that worked so well with Mark Udall…

  5. jaytee says:

    really write “the lawsuit over Obamacare” without scare quotes? That’s funny. If nothing else, she keeps you on your toes.

    Suthers said on Independent Thinking a month ago or something that he was against the new unregulated medical marijuana industry because it was increasing access to the drug for high school kids. You read that right. Our attorney general said that. Does he have teenage kids? That would make it even more comical. Exactly which kids haven’t been able to score pot in high school for the last fifty years? Chrissake. How do these people get to adulthood and elected office completely ignorant of life.

    Go Garnett!

    • Earnest says:

      …which was within the past 50 years.  I’m not sure what you think I should make of this fact with respect to the AG election.

      • jaytee says:

        Were you afraid of the goodlooking girls? Suthers has staked out ground on the big MM debate in this state, pitting himself against the will of the voters, and his justification is not that he hates pot or thinks it’s evil but that he’s saving the kids. Talk about nanny state. Has he talked to a) high school kids or counselors or b) MM sellers?

        How’s it increasing access to the kids? He didn’t explain. He just threw that out there as a GOP anti-drug scare tactic. “I’m saving the kids!”

        What a jerk.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        I’ve got two that recently graduated and one that’s a senior in High School – they say you can get anything there. MM is not making anything more available.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      She tries to sneak in Republican jargon and talking points whenever she can.  And this person is supposed to be the Denver Posts go to political reporter.  Ugh.

      About the only nice thing you can say about her is that she doesn’t have to look at the ceiling while she is earning her money from Singleton.

  6. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I’ve seen him run for office three times and seen how he handles the political side of office. First off, he has always taken a very careful clear look at his odds before running. If Stan thinks he has a strong chance, then he’s got an overwhelming chance.

    Second, he’s really good at the politics. He was chair of the school board and very few people got really mad at him. That’s a rare accomplishment. He knows how to work the voters.

    Finally, he’ll be a good A.G. (that should count). He made the Boulder D.A. position look boring and easy because everything was handled competently and correctly. A major improvement on the disasters we had before him.

    My guess is that by August we’ll be looking at this race as pretty much over.

  7. MADCO says:

    a grand jury or special investigation into the Cory Voorhies story?

    Thus capturing the Boyles/Caplis crowd.


  8. americus says:

    Suthers has a long history of being on the wrong side of issues.  Way back when, he vehemently opposed a rational adjustment of the civil forfeiture law.  Police could impound e.g. a car that was used in a suspected crime.  The suspect did not have to be found guilty yet the police could sell the car and keep the profits.  Liberals and civil libertarians united over this bill.  Think it was a Perlmutter / Shawn Micthel bill! Suthers fought it.

    Rebups have a long record of spending tax payers’ money on lawsuits that serve as red meat for their true believers: parental notification, mill levy, gay marriage, death penalty and gun control. I never could figure out how they mange to say they are fiscal conservatives and not get hit by lightening.  Saying they spend tax dollars like drunken sailors is an insult to happy seamen.

    Stan is the real deal-one of the best lawyers in the state.  He tried a capital murder case just last year.  He is widely respected and no nonsense.  I want an AG who analyses a potential law suit recognizing a fiduciary duty to his clients (us).  Party leaders like Dick and Pat should never have any say whatsoever in such important decisions.  The rule of law should never be denigrated for a short-lived partisan joy ride.  

    • sloanslake says:

      I want an AG who analyses a potential law suit recognizing a fiduciary duty to his clients (us).  Party leaders like Dick and Pat should never have any say whatsoever in such important decisions. The rule of law should never be denigrated for a short-lived partisan joy ride.

      best. comment. yet. ^

  9. Barron X says:


    when explaining what a “lock” meant, Pols used the example of Suthers.


    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Before Suthers veered into high-profile extreme ideological territory. If he hadn’t joined the lawsuit, he’d still be a lock.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        If Suthers hadn’t veered into extreme ideological territory Garnett wouldn’t have stepped up. But I think Suthers was this vulnerable before he did this – we just didn’t have anyone like Garnett stepping up.

        Then again, I’m just splitting hairs with this argument…

  10. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    I happen to know 100,000 MMJ patients and at least one person that loves them.  That would be 200,000 people that would love to volunteer, give money and vote.

    Mr. Garnett, when would you like 8 Rivers Restuarant and the Apothecary of Colorado to host a fundraiser?  Scott and I will organize and raise money to get rid of Suthers!

    I suppose that Suthers will begin the investigation into the Apothecary to throw us off track. But we are not afraid!

    Oh, how I love politics!!  Let the games begin!

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