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January 27, 2022 11:01 AM UTC

Republicans Finally Get a Candidate for Attorney General

  • by: Colorado Pols
John Kellner (left) poses with George Brauchler, his predecessor in both the 18th Judicial District and the race for AG.

With five days remaining in the first month of 2022, Colorado Republicans at last finished filling out their statewide candidate brackets. Recently-elected 18th Judicial District District Attorney John Kellner “announced” today that he will run for Attorney General in hopes of ousting incumbent Democrat Phil Weiser.

We put “announced” in quotations because, well, this was a strange way to kick off a campaign: Kellner made his candidacy official in the last paragraph of an Op-Ed published at 1:00 am behind the paywall of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman.

This is about as effective as Kellner standing in his front lawn in the middle of the night yelling out, “I’m running for Attorney General!” But, hey, at least Republicans have someone to run for the top law enforcement position in Colorado.

If you’re not familiar with Kellner, you shouldn’t feel lonely. Kellner was first elected in 2020 by a very narrow margin. His opponent in that race, Democrat Amy Padden, noted that Kellner isn’t even halfway through his first term in office:

As we noted in December, Kellner had been going back and forth on whether or not to run for the Republican nomination for Attorney General after multiple potential GOP candidates — including Scott Gessler, Mark Waller, and George Brauchler — had repeatedly refused entreaties to enter the race themselves. It’s understandable that a Republican would be reluctant to challenge Weiser, who has already raised a record-breaking $2.7 million for his re-election campaign and has been a vocal leader on a number of important issues. It doesn’t help that the rest of the GOP ticket is a disaster, starting at the top with Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s silly campaign for governor.

In 2018, Democrats swept the four major statewide constitutional offices in Colorado for the first time in modern history. In 2022, Republicans will counter with Ganahl for Governor; a guy with one year in public office under his belt for AG; a State Treasurer candidate who has lost four of his last five races (Lang Sias); and a challenger for Secretary of State (Pam Anderson) who is petitioning her way onto the Primary ballot because her belief that the 2020 Presidential election was not fraudulent doesn’t sit well with the Trumpy Republican base in Colorado.



9 thoughts on “Republicans Finally Get a Candidate for Attorney General

  1. I don’t know much about Kellner; he hasn’t really been around long enough to develop the extensive résumé of debacle, like Brauchler . . .

    But, I guess this clearly does end any speculation about Brauchler planning to take another electoral beat down from Weiser?  (Kellner wouldn’t be running if George had any plans to.)

    (Which in a way is kind of a win for the little tweeter — he can continue to spout his law-and-order/crime-wave crisis blargle on the radio, and in that Denver print rag, without any fear of ever having to see hard evidence that the voters aren’t buying it, or him.)

    1. He's running because he's got an uphill battle to win as DA in the 18th in 2024, since the 18th will then not include Douglas, Lincoln, or Elbert.  So jump ship and get politically more well-known through this.  Phil will wipe the floor with him

      1. I read that, and I kinda’ see that point — which would be a good one, except I don’t understand how losing horribly in 2022 is going to help him at all in 2024?  Seems maybe he’d have better prospects in 2024 in the DA race in the district he’s in by possibly accomplishing a thing or two there over the next two years?

        My apparently badly made point, however, was that this announcement by Kellner tells more about Brauchler, than it does about him.

        I guess when this fails, Kellner can always find a home at Brownstein, sooner rather than later? They feather that nest there pretty well with failed politicos and wannabes.

        1. Upping his name recognition for fundraising for future elections.  And Brownstein does pay better than DA.  Given the trend in DA voting in Arapahoe, he's hard-pressed to win in 2024.  In Brauchler's first DA win in 2012, he was far behind in Arapahoe, Feldman had just under 145k votes to Brauchler's 117k.  In 2020, Amy Padden got 194k in Arapahoe to Kellner's 141k.  A decent dem candidate for DA takes the 18th in 2024

        2. I was thinking the state-wide "race" for AG would be a wonderful way to boost name recognition & build a fund-raising list.  It gives him options for 2024 — continuation as a DA for some district; considering a US Rep run, maybe a vacancy on a county commission —  or maybe some sort of "special" election in 2023, 24, or 25. 

  2. Maybe Broccoli is saving himself for something else. 

    Lt. Governor under Hiedi Heidi Ganahl? Or maybe run for Governor himself if Heidi fails to launch?

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