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September 23, 2009 10:06 PM UTC

Slater To Run For Attorney General; Quick, Carroll Will Not

  • by: Colorado Pols

Colorado Democratic Party vice-chairman and attorney Dan Slater will run against incumbent John Suthers for Attorney General next year, ending speculation about who would represent Democrats in this race that included Adams County DA Don Quick and Sen. Morgan Carroll. Slater says that both Quick and Carroll have decided against making a bid themselves.

A statement from Slater is expected later today, we’ll post it when we get it.


57 thoughts on “Slater To Run For Attorney General; Quick, Carroll Will Not

  1. Let me be clear: I’m not a candidate today. I can’t accept any contributions until October 1 – that’s when I will be a candidate.

    I’m not going to spend this post talking about all of the reasons I am going to run – we’ll save that for the Announcement Tour. But I think it is time – past time – for us to have an Attorney General who truly fights for ALL of the people of Colorado, and who isn’t afraid to go out and root out those who would prey on our most vulnerable citizens.

    So if you have the time, please set aside time to stop by one of our Announcement Tour stops. We are still finalizing all of the details, but here are the plans, most locations TBA:

    Thursday, October 1:

    – 9:00 AM – Colorado Springs – Penrose Library, Carnegie Room

    – 1:00 PM – Denver – TBA

    – 5:00 PM – Greeley – TBA

    Friday, October 2:

    – 8:00 AM – Steamboat – TBA

    – 1:00 PM – Grand Junction – Traders Coffee & Tea Co.

    – 6:00 PM – Durango – TBA

    I’ve got some exciting things planned for this race, and I’m looking forward to getting to every community in Colorado and talking about my vision for the Attorney General’s office in Colorado – and the incumbent’s lack of vision.

      1. chief class action lawyer and policy maker (interpreting questions of state law and regulations for state officials) than it is to being a criminal prosecutor.  Even where there are criminal prosecutions, they typically involve consumer protection and environmental cases.

        The AG sets priorities, allocates resources, and resolves gray area questions of legal interpretation.

        As a trial lawyer and small business attorney, Slater’s background is probably closer to the portfolio of work the AG does than Suthers, who didn’t handle transactional matters at all before being elected and had little experience representing the kind of “plaintiff’s lawyer” interests that the AG usually advocates for in civil litigation.

    1. .

      he’s already a candidate.  

      As soon as he says that he will be a candidate in another week, voila, he passes the threshold.  

      Don’t know what state rules say.


        1. Colorado Constitution (Art. XXVIII, Sec. 2 (2) states that a person is a candidate ONLY after a public announcement of intention to seek office, AND a subsequent receipt of a contribution or expenditure in support of the candidacy.  Both parts have to be met before the 10-day rule is triggered.

          1. You want to be Attorney General.

            What part of “that’s when I will be a candidate” is inconsistent with “A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office?”

            I was taking your side.

            But you clearly don’t understand the law that you’re running to enforce.

            1. “You become a candidate when you publicly announce and thereafter accept a contribution or make an expenditure on behalf of your candidacy.

              [Art. XXVIII, Sec. 2(2) and Campaign and Political Finance Rule 1.10]”

              Quote from the Colorado Campaign and Political Finance Manual at  


              I believe BOTH things have to happen before you become a candidate, then face a deadline to file, etc.

              1. .

                from Article XXVIII:

                Section 2. Definitions. For the purpose of this Article and any statutory provisions pertaining to campaign finance, including provisions pertaining to disclosure:

                (2) “Candidate” means any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election.

                A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy.

                Me, I see two different definitions there.  

                One doesn’t depend on expenditures and the other one does.  

                Now, I’m not admitted to any Bar that doesn’t serve alcohol, but I say they’re both right.


        1. Other than the fact that he’s a lawyer. Quick is DA, and Carroll has at least held elected office in addition to being a civil rights attorney.

          I respect Dan’s work for the Democratic Party, but IMO this is not a serious challenge to John Suthers who–aside from unnecessary partisanship on important fiscal issues–has done a pretty good job.

          1. I can attest to the fact that Slater writes a competent news letter.  For more, maybe we could send Dave to do one of his hard hitting, deep probing (gee that sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?)

            coffee/breakfast/lunch/with interviews.

          2. that Slater is running mostly for two reasons: to raise his name recognition for a (more serious) future run for office and to make sure that a Democrat is actually running against Suthers, thus saving the State Party from the embarrassment of having an uncontested top state tier race.

                1. That way you at least have someone challenging Suthers on what he has done and has not done. And if in the last week of the election we learn something major about Suthers (incredibly unlikely), there’s an alternative on the ballot.

                    1. Is your new sig line a diss to me or to Carpenter? Based on some of the things Carpenter has posted in the last couple of days, I take pride in his saying that.


                      It’s an excellent source of inside information. More than a dozen reporters covering the capitol, so they often break stories before anyone else. If you can afford the subscription price ($875 a year), it’s basically a must for anyone directly involved with Colorado politics. I know for a fact that lobbyists rely on it heavily during the session.

                      Here’s your mention:…

          3. He has more experience working on the transactional side that is a big part of the AG’s work than Suthers, Quick or Carroll.  Slater’s litigation experience, like Carroll’s, but unlike Suthers and Quick’s is pretty similar to the kind of cases that the AG’s office brings.  Criminal prosecutions aren’t a huge part of the job and mostly relate to consumer protection and environmental cases.

            Honestly, almost all of the actual work be it writing contracts or litigating cases is done by subordinates.  The real responsibility of the guy in the top job is to set priorities, hire good people and referee internal state policy disputes with a legal component (e.g. interpreting Amendment 41).  Most of the top job’s work involves political judgment and the vision you have for the department.

            The areas where the AG plays the most personal role are also those where the AG’s office under Suthers has been weakest.  The state has also gotten burned badly on some big IT contracts, which is another of the AG’s big jobs to negotiate.

            Suthers’ AG Opinions and amicus opinions have often taken questionable policy positions and while the office, by virtue of its existence, advances “good causes” it isn’t obvious that the office’s priority making has been particularly good.

            1. I probably should have read your blog on this subject before running my mouth about whether or not Mr. Slater is qualified.

              Can he win, though? Even you were giving 14:1 odds versus Suthers getting 4:1. Even if he knocks on every door in the state, can he compete with Suthers’ incumbency and what will surely be a wide GOP fund raising base?

              Your point about who Governor Ritter will endorse and campaign for was interesting as well. My question is whether a Ritter endorsement would help or harm the candidate who received it.

      1. I may own Don an apology.

        The real joke was back when not one, but two R’s no one ever head of announced their candidacy to be Treasurer. And that may have happened before Don’s announcement.

        1. Those are funny guys too.

          Please give Dan Slater credit as he is the funniest of them all. It is a sad state of affairs when the Democrats can find no other candidate.  

          1. I never heard of Don Maze until he announced.  And I still haven’t of the two R’s who are primarying each other to try and get to be treasurer.  

            But, in the final analysis, comedy is hard and sometimes personal.  Laugh at whatever you makes you laugh.

            1. He is a good guy and has been a great asset to the Party. I don’t think much of his run for Suther’s seat but I think he deserves credit for the work he has done to build the party these last few years.

  2. But Dan has a lot of energy to put up on the stump.

    And, no, Mr. Smalls, AG is not strictly a law enforcement position.  It is also an advocate in legal matters; the AG’s office handles complaints and initiates consumer protection actions – at least it does in states not run by totally pro-corporate Republicans.

  3. Those that know me know I read Pols, so it should be no surprise I’m following this.  However, I promise not to be so thin-skinned that I feel I need to respond to every comment that has “Dan,” “Slater,” or some combination thereof in the future.  

    But there are a couple of misconceptions in the comments.

    First, there is a misconception about my fundraising ability.  In one-third of the time I have for this race, in a lower-tier legislative race in 2002, I raised over $100,000.  I’m good enough at raising money that I’ve trained a number of candidates on fundraising.  I can raise the money that needs to be raised to win this race.

    Second, if name recognition wins races, my opponent has just as much of a hill to climb as me, and he’s been doing this for four years plus now.  In 2002, my name recognition in a nine-county district was well over 50% — at the beginning of the race.  I’ve traveled the state, and am rather well-known across Colorado.  

    Third, this isn’t Quixotic.  I intend to win, and I ask that you let the birth of this campaign happen before you declare it stillborn.  If you don’t like the differences I draw in my announcement, then complain.  And if you don’t like the numbers I draw after my first fundraising quarter, then declare I haven’t a chance.  

    I’ve received plenty of support and encouragement in just these first few hours, and I’m excited about taking my case for the Attorney General’s office to the people of Colorado.

    1. John Suthers’ “lack of vision”?

      And just for the record, nobody is trying to derail your campaign. Like I said above, I respect everything you’ve done for the Democratic Party at the local level. Most of us who post here regularly are just stating our opinion about this race as we would any important statewide race.

      I wish you all the best in the campaign, and I look forward to hearing you make your case.

    2. Best of luck to you.

      And for the record–we’re just stating opinions here. Since you read here, I’m pretty sure you know that’s what political blogs are for–sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions about politics and politicians and wannabe politicians.

      I highly doubt that by sharing our thoughts on your impending announcement that we are causing the death of your campaign. 🙂

      1. Dan Slater makes some good points.

        Let’s see how he does in drawing crowds and raising money.  Let’s give him a chance.  Dan Slater is the only declared Democratic candidate and let’s hope he can organize a viable campaign.

    3. you MUST know that the defensive candidate is also the losing candidate?  

      Just like war–if you let others determine the battlefield, you might as well stay home.  

    4. .

      in a Democratic primary.   Dems may hate him, but at least they know who he is.  

      I will email him tomorrow to ask him to run.  I think he’s already a covert Dem.  


      1. He would only run for office if he could immediately secede from the union and declare his rule permanent.

        He will never run for anything.

        From some things, sure. Never for.

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