Attorney General: Cynthia Coffman

The Pueblo Chieftain

IF THIS were a courtroom drama, it would be a great one. A veteran criminal prosecutor squares off with a long-time civil litigator. Each is smart, tough, talented, effective and ambitious, and each is vying for the helm of a massive legal office.

Yes, it would make for an excellent fiction. It makes for an even better, and very real, election.

This year, Colorado voters are faced with a difficult choice for the next attorney general. Republican Cynthia Coffman is a veteran, 23-year attorney whose experience ranges from contract and international liaison work during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., to nearly a decade as the chief deputy for outgoing Attorney General John Suthers. Her challenger is Democrat Don Quick, the former Adams County district attorney and chief deputy under then-Attorney General Ken Salazar.

Both are intensely gifted attorneys and both have stellar records.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is essentially the state’s largest law firm. It currently comprises 460 staff, 280 of whom are attorneys. It provides legal advice on a slew of topics.

It is a position that demands a strong administrator and leader. Our pick for that role is Cynthia Coffman.

Mrs. Coffman’s resume boasts wide-ranging legal expertise that spans the many issues confronting an attorney general. She has been a criminal prosecutor, a legislative counsel, a legal staffer for the Department of Public Health and the Environment, and the chief legal counsel for then-Gov. Bill Owens.

Mrs. Coffman took up her current post in 2005, and she has been at the helm of the office ever sense. Mrs. Coffman has shown both administrative talent and a flair for navigating the fine line between advocacy and activism.

She has demonstrated a strong commitment to the state constitution and actively argued on behalf of constituent will that shaped it, even when she personally disagreed with the issue at hand. Mrs. Coffman has also shown us that she will stand up for the state’s rights above all, saying that — if necessary — she would join other attorneys general in suing the Federal government for overstepping the 10th Amendment.

Mrs. Coffman takes a measured approach to resolve issues in as quick and fiscally responsible a manner as possible.

For these reasons, our endorsement goes to Cynthia Coffman.