Earlier this month, Republican George Brauchler dropped out of the race for Governor — a race he clearly could not hope to win — in order to run for Attorney General after incumbent AG Cynthia Coffman announced that she would be running for Governor.
When Brauchler made his announcement, it was with a carefully-crafted message intended to convey that he was the Republican White Knight riding to the rescue to save the GOP from losing its hold on the office of Attorney General. Brauchler has even taken swipes at Coffman for “abandoning” a top Republican office so close to the 2018 election. But as this recent story from Charles Ashby in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel makes clear, Brauchler’s commitment to pretending to be wanted has him looking more than a little bit silly:
“At the time, you couldn’t have foreseen this set of circumstances,” Brauchler said in an interview a few days after he made the switch last week. “Tancredo getting in, it didn’t move the needle for me. We didn’t change plans at all. The single event was vacating that (attorney general) position. I’m an amateur at this. I wasn’t counseled in the ways of ‘never say never.’ I didn’t see this happening.”
Brauchler said as far back as 2015, the Republican Party tried to get him to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who ended up facing a little-known Republican who barely campaigned for the seat. But he wasn’t interested in going to Washington, D.C.
A similar thing occurred earlier this year when U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-4th, considered running for attorney general, but decided instead to seek re-election.
Brauchler said he wasn’t interested in that seat, either, saying his experience and desire to remain closer to his family outweighed all other considerations.
There were rumors earlier this fall that Brauchler was considering running for Congress in CD-4 should Rep. Ken Buck depart in order to run for Attorney General, but this is the first time we can recall that Brauchler has publicly acknowledged this story. This isn’t something Brauchler would have wanted to acknowledge when he was still a candidate for Governor, but now that he’s moved on to a different office, Brauchler is desperate to make you believe that everyone wants him to run for something!
The flip side to this message is that Brauchler just wants to be elected to some sort of higher office; that he just wants to be Attorney General because he wasn’t going to be our next Governor. Brauchler is leading with his chin here, and at least one potential 2018 opponent is already calling him out. Again, from the Sentinel:
All that sounded like balderdash to Democratic attorney general candidate Michael Dougherty, who currently is the assistant district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties.
“The Attorney General’s Office is critically important right now, too important in my opinion to be a consolation prize for a failed run at being governor,” Dougherty said…
…”Cynthia Coffman ran that office with politics in mind, more so than her predecessors. Now that she’s running for governor, those suspicions are confirmed,” Dougherty said. “Now we have this spot being sought by someone who is running for a different office who is simply looking for somewhere else to land because that race got tough.
“Perhaps if this race gets tough, George can consider running for treasurer.” [Pols emphasis]
You had better get used to this joke, George.