Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog breaks some major news today with the endorsement of Democratic incumbent Attorney General Phil Weiser by his Republican predecessor in the office, Cynthia Coffman:
“Phil Weiser understands and honors the office he has held the last four years,” Coffman said in a statement. “He is respected among his fellow attorneys general as a collaborative leader who hasn’t been drawn into base partisan battles that threaten pragmatic problem solving. He is an influential voice in the national attorney general community because he is an independent thinker not susceptible to the sway of special interest groups.
“As General Weiser’s predecessor in the job, I have been pleased by his continuation of impactful initiatives in school safety, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, substance abuse treatment, and childhood sexual abuse recovery.”
Added Coffman: “Naturally, we do not see eye-to-eye on every policy issue or legal position, but Phil Weiser has earned my professional respect and personal support. General Weiser deserves another four years in service as Colorado’s Attorney General.”
As readers know the message campaign against Attorney General Weiser has been particularly nasty, seeking to pin blame on Weiser personally for a host of social problems that are much larger than any one state or in any case not the fault of Weiser in any respect. For Weiser’s Republican predecessor in the job to endorse his re-election seriously undermines the acrimony directed against Weiser. It becomes much harder to sell the idea that Weiser wants to hand out fentanyl pills to children via a network of stolen cars after the Republican who held the office before Weiser has endorsed his re-election.
[Coffman] joins a slew of current and former Republican officials who endorsed Weiser last week, including former Colorado House Speaker Russ George, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis and former Westminster Mayor Herb Acheson.
We’re not completely sure what caused this shift, but judicially-focused Republicans like Cynthia Coffman and former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis lining up in opposition is a very serious problem for Republican AG candidate John Kellner. For voters doing their homework down the ballot, it’s a big red flag that something’s not right with Kellner–whether it be the ethics and campaign finance questions he’s persistently faced, or self-immolating answers to questions about reproductive rights. These are politically lucid Republicans who would support the Republican candidate for attorney general–unless there’s a very good reason not to.
And it looks like there is. Their judgment discredits Kellner the way little else can.