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ENDORSEMENT WATCH | Weiser, Brauchler divvy up AG backers

Author: Ernest Luning - July 12, 2018 - Updated: July 26, 2018

George Brauchler (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley-file)

With the primary in the rear view mirror, organizations and individuals are handing out endorsements for the general election.

The Colorado AFL-CIO, representing 180 affiliate unions, voted unanimously to endorse Democratic gubernatorial nominee U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and the party’s attorney general candidate, Phil Weiser, the union’s political arm announced this week.

In an earlier round of endorsements in April, the union’s Committee on Political Education — COPE — didn’t back a candidate for governor and endorsed Weiser’s primary rival, state Rep. Joe Salazar.

The union also announced it was unanimously endorsing Democrats Dave Young, a state lawmaker running for state treasurer, and Jena Griswold, the party’s nominee for secretary of state — reaffirming its endorsements from April.

“Union members are facing unprecedented attacks from the Federal Government and Trump’s Supreme Court. That is why we will fight to elect these four champions to statewide office,” Colorado AFL-CIO President Josette Jaramillo said in a statement.

“We believe that Polis, Weiser, Griswold and Young will help un-rig Colorado’s economy, and ensure that working people across the state have access to good jobs, a fair wage, and a strong collective bargaining agreement. Working people need proactive leadership in Colorado, and we trust that these candidates are ready to get to work.”

Polis is facing Republican Walker Stapleton; Weiser is facing Republican George Brauchler; Young is facing Republican Brian Watson; and Griswold is challenging Wayne Williams, the GOP incumbent.

In other post-primary endorsements:

— Conservation Colorado, the state’s largest state environmental advocacy organization, announced this week it’s endorsing Polis and plans to spend millions of dollars to support his election.

“Jared Polis is one of the strongest voices for conservation in the state and the nation, and he will work hard to protect what we all love about Colorado: our clear blue skies, rushing rivers, wild places, and diverse communities,” said Maria Handley, acting executive director of Conservation Colorado, in a statement.

The group spent $1.3 million in the 2016 election on digital ads, mail, canvassing and traditional media ads, Handley noted, and won 90 percent of the races where it made an endorsement.

— More than a dozen top prosecutors and scores of elected sheriffs are endorsing Republican attorney general nominee George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District attorney, his campaign announced. So did several law enforcement associations.

“George Brauchler has a long track record of helping public safety agencies keep Colorado safe through his tireless work as a district attorney,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis in a statement. “I know he will continue to serve all of Colorado and prioritize the safety of all our residents as our elected attorney general.”

The district attorneys endorsing their colleague include: Peter Weir of the 1st Judicial District; Dan May of the 4th Judicial District; Cliff Riedel of the 8th Judicial District; Jeff Cheney of the 9th Judicial District; Molly Chilson of the 11th Judicial District; Brittny Lewton of the 13th Judicial District; Brett Barkey of the 14th Judicial District; Josh Vogel of the 15th Judicial District; Jim Bullock of the 16th Judicial District; Dave Young of the 17th Judicial District; Michael Rourke of the 19th Judicial District; Dan Rubinstein of the 21st Judicial District; and Will Furse of the 22nd Judicial District.

Sheriffs supporting Brauchler include: Mike McIntosh, Adams County; David Walcher, Arapahoe County; Rich Valdez, Archuleta County; David Encinias, Bent County; John Spezze, Chaffee County; Gabriel Joiner, Cheyenne County; John “Smokey” Kurtz, Crowley County; Shannon Byerly, Custer County; Fred Mckee, Delta County; Tony Spurlock, Douglas County; James Van Beek, Eagle County; Bill Elder, El Paso County; Shayne Heap, Elbert County; Jim Beicker, Fremont County; Lou Vallario, Garfield County; Bruce Hartman, Gilpin County; Brett Schroetlin, Grand County; Rick Besecker, Gunnison County; Ronald Bruce, Hinsdale County; Gary Cure, Jackson County; Jeff Shrader, Jefferson County; Casey Sheridan, Kiowa County; Tom Ridnour, Kit Carson County; Justin Smith, Larimer County; Tom Nestor, Lincoln County; Brett Powell, Logan County; Matt Lewis, Mesa County; KC Hume, Moffat County; Steve Nowlin, Montezuma County; Shawn M. Mobley, Otero County; Fred Wegener, Park County; Sam Zordel, Prowers County; Anthony Mazzola, Rio Blanco County; Garrett Wiggins, Routt County; Dan Warwick, Saguache County; Carlton Britton, Sedgwick County; Jason Mikesell, Teller County; Jon Stivers, Washington County; Steve Reams, Weld County; and Chad Day, Yuma County.

In addition, these associations of law enforcement officers are backing Brauchler: the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, the Denver Police Protective Association and the Aurora Police Association.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.