by Anthony Lane
With statewide races shaping up for governor, U.S. Senate, treasurer and secretary of state, it was easy to overlook the fact that Attorney General John Suthers appeared poised to waltz back into office unopposed.
Democrat Dan Slater had announced plans to challenge the Republican incumbent, but he quickly withdrew, citing a lack of "fire" to mount a statewide campaign.
But now it looks like Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett may have found some fire of his own in the of wake of Suthers' announcement that he is joining a lawsuit arguing that the health care reform bill just signed by President Barack Obama is unconstitutional.
"I think it's a mistake and a misuse of the office of attorney general," Garnett said. "It appears to me to be a blatantly partisan act and pointless."
Even so, Garnett said at the moment he is "strongly leaning against" launching a statewide campaign because of the work he wants to still accomplish in the 20th Judicial District....
When it comes to making policy statements, it's important that prosecutors speak freely," Garnett said. "But when you go to court, it's also essential that be done for reasons that are not partisan. (Suthers) is the attorney general for Colorado — he's not the attorney general for the Republican Party in Colorado."
Garnett, who has been Boulder County's top prosecutor for a little more than 14 months, said he will speak to party leaders and others over the weekend before making a final decision on whether to run or not.
His short tenure in the 20th Judicial District to date, he said, is a factor in whether he feels he's ready to seek higher office.
"I'm reluctant to walk away from a job that is only partially done," Garnett said.