Last week the Denver Post pulled out its own sad trumpet for Republican George Brauchler, who has driven his gubernatorial campaign off a cliff with awful fundraising numbers and then had a piano dropped on his corpse by Tom Tancredo. The Post story also suggested that Brauchler may be considering changing horses in mid-cycle in order to run for Attorney General in 2018, but that seemed like just a rumor…
Mark Matthews has the rundown for the Denver Post on a fascinating game of musical chairs taking place in Colorado’s top races:
Brauchler’s campaign confirmed in a statement that he has entertained the idea of switching races. Brauchler serves as the 18th Judicial District attorney and made his name as the prosecutor as the Aurora theater shooter.
“The AG race in Colorado will be bigger than George, and the list of people qualified and dynamic enough to win a down-ticket race at this late date, less than one year out, is short. So, is he taking the calls and hearing people out? Yes, he is,” wrote Sean Tonner, a Brauchler adviser.
We’re not going to pretend that it doesn’t make some sense for Brauchler to abandon his increasingly-hopeless bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but we also have to admit that we’re surprised Brauchler is being so open about the possibility now that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has entered the race for Governor.
As Matthews reports, Brauchler has been reaching out to potential rivals in an Attorney General’s race, including Rep. Ken Buck, who confirmed today that he will not run for the AG job himself. Some of this probably has to do with political necessity; with state Rep. Cole Wist preparing for a potential run at Attorney General, Brauchler needs to move quickly to stake out his position. It’s not unlikely that Wist may step aside for Brauchler — so long as the ask comes soon enough.
Whether or not Brauchler can clear out a GOP Primary in a race for Attorney General is a question for another day. By admitting that he is seriously considering leaving the governor’s race for something else, Brauchler is essentially waving the white flag on a gubernatorial bid. There’s no real way back from this kind of announcement.