Joe Salazar eyes attorney general seat

As the Trump presidency approaches week 11, Joe Salazar has reached the conclusion that Coloradans need protection from Trump’s terrorizing administration. Not one to sit on his hands when communities are targeted, Salazar has decided to step up and take action. 

Joe Salazar

Joe Salazar

Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar filed paperwork for attorney general for the 2018 election year on March 10.

“I decided to run for a variety of reasons,” Salazar said. “The attorney general’s office is supposed to be the people’s lawyer. I want to return that position back to the people.”

The attorney general is the head of the Colorado State Department of Law, and represents and defends the legal interests of the people.

Salazar was elected as representative of District 31 in 2012. He has proposed bills such as the Bill of Rights For Persons Who Are Homeless and the Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act Bill. These bills were written to protect people that have been targeted. Salazar has said that it’s necessary to take steps to keep Coloradans safe. Something he feels current Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has not done.

“When it comes to protecting Coloradans from big industries such as oil and gas, from protecting them from the very abusive Trump administrations, her policies are absolutely horrible.” Salazar said.

Republican Cynthia Coffman, who took office in 2014, made a controversial move when she filed suit against Boulder County over their extended oil and gas drilling moratorium. Other democrats voiced their disapproval of the lawsuit.

District Attorney Stan Garnett who had considered running for attorney general said that Coffman was not doing a great job of managing the office, citing the lawsuit as one of her blunders.

Garnett dropped out of the race last week after considering how time consuming it would be, taking him away from unfinished projects in his own office.

“Joe makes it a pretty intense primary,” Garnett said. “It would last at least a year and a half.”

Garnett said a district attorney should have experience managing lawyers and interacting with law enforcement.

“Joe’s a good man, but he’s not experienced as a lawyer, and he has no law enforcement experience,” Garnett said.

However, Salazar does have experience as a lawyer. He attended University of Denver College of Law, where he became a founding member of the American Bar Association and a member of the Native American Law Student and Latino Law Student Associations, according to his website.

Democratic party of Denver chairman Mike Cerbo had more confidence in Salazar.

“I know Joe to be a confident attorney and legislator,” Cerbo said.“I feel Joe will do an excellent job if elected.”

Salazar said one of the most important qualifications of an attorney general is litigation experience as well as knowing the constitution.

“As a civil rights politician law attorney I have had all that experience,” Salazar said. “I have experience in state affairs, so I have the legislative experience.”

Another responsibility of the attorney general is chief law enforcement officer of the state.

Salazar stated that does not mean that an attorney general is a representative for law enforcement.

“What it means to be a law enforcement officer is is to be that objective person who weighs everybody’s actions equally and fairly,” Salazar said.

He feels confident going forward and said one of his best traits is that people always know where he stands on an issue, even if they don’t agree with him.

“Whenever people ask me questions I’ve never been one of those politicians to walk away,” Salazar said. “I’m honored to be called the people’s champion, because that’s why I got into this, to help out the people.”

Author: Maria Muller

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