Video of the March 18th Attorney General Candidate Forum in Fort Collins

Information on the Candidates for State Attorney General


George Brauchler (R)

Brauchler, who is the top prosecutor in the 18th Judicial District, was running for governor of Colorado until Nov. 13 when he jumped in to the contest for attorney general. His decision came less than a week after Cynthia Coffman joined the GOP gubernatorial primary. He quickly won backing from the Republican Attorney General’s Association.

Brad Levin (D)

Levin is a Denver attorney who entered the contest in June, positioning himself as a consumer advocate. As a political newcomer, he has an extensive background in commercial litigation, having secured multimillion-dollar settlements from insurance companies on behalf of consumers and businesses.  His clients have run the gamut, from individual cancer patients seeking treatments that their insurance company wouldn’t cover to contractors and condominium homeowner’s associations in lawsuits involving construction defects cases — an area of law that has been a political football for years at the Colorado Statehouse.

Amy Padden (D)

Padden is a former state and federal prosecutor who also has a history in the private sector. She says public safety and consumer protection are the cornerstone of her platform. In the mid-2000s, Padden served as an assistant attorney general under former Attorney General John Suthers.

Joseph Salazar (D)

The state representative jumped into the attorney general’s race in March and has a history of disagreeing with Cynthia Coffman, particularly when it comes to issues involving the oil and gas industry. Salazar, an attorney, worked in civil rights and criminal law for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies before becoming a lawmaker. Salazar was initially thought to be a potential candidate for Colorado governor.

Phil Weiser (D)

Weiser is the former dean of the University of Colorado Law School and onetime Obama administration official who got into the attorney general’s race in May by saying that Coffman has been “aiding and abetting” the White House by not taking action against Donald Trump’s policies. 

What does the Colorado Attorney General Do?

(from the Colorado Attorney General website)


Mission: It is the mission of the Department of Law to provide professional, ethical, and independent legal services to the State of Colorado and its citizens, to promote respect for law and access to the justice system, to ensure the fair and open exercise of government, and to protect and advance the public interest.


Focus: The Colorado Department of Law is focused on:

  • Upholding the United States and Colorado Constitutions.
  • Providing the highest level of ethical legal service to the State of Colorado.
  • Defending the laws and officers of the State of Colorado from legal challenge.
  • Protecting and preserving the quality of Colorado’s land, water and air.
  • Advocating for policies that help law enforcement improve community safety.
  • Protecting Coloradans from consumer scams and fraud.
  • Ensuring that Colorado’s elections remain free from criminal fraud.
  • Promoting open, accountable governance.

Authority:  The Colorado Attorney General is one of four independently elected statewide offices in Colorado and was established by the State Constitution upon statehood in 1876.


The Attorney General and the Department of Law, collectively referred to as the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, represents and defends the legal interests of the people of the State of Colorado and its sovereignty. The Attorney General exercises the responsibilities given to the office by the Colorado Constitution, statutes enacted by the Colorado General Assembly, and the common law.


The Attorney General has primary authority for:

  • Enforcement of consumer protection and antitrust laws
  • Prosecution of criminal appeals and some complex white-collar crimes,
  • The Statewide Grand Jury,
  • Training and certification of peace officers,
  • Most natural resource and environmental matters.

The Attorney General’s Office works concurrently with Colorado’s 22 district attorneys and other local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to carry out the criminal justice responsibilities and activities of the office. The Attorney General is also the chief legal counsel and advisor to the executive branch of state government including the governor, all of the departments of state government, and to the many state agencies, boards, and commissions.


The Office works with a $70 million appropriated budget and employs roughly 480 employees.