Primary election 2018

Q&A with Joe Salazar, Democratic candidate for Colorado attorney general

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City or town of residence: I've lived in Thornton for 43 years (pretty much most of my life).

Profession: Civil-rights attorney and state representative.

Related elected-office or public-service experience: State representative, 2012-present.

Why are you seeking this office?

The Office of the Attorney General is known as the people's lawyer. As vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees the office, I have seen how the office has been sold to big corporations and special interests. I'm running to return the people's lawyer back to the people. 

What makes you the most qualified person for the position?

I am the only Democratic candidate who actually practices law in Colorado state and federal courts. Unlike my Republican opponent, I am the only candidate who practices more than just criminal law, which represents only 20 percent of the work performed by the attorney general's office. Unlike both my opponents, I hold a position that oversees the attorney general's office. I have drafted legislation, organized stakeholders and passed a wide variety of bipartisan legislation for the state of Colorado. I am the only candidate who actually has taken on big corporations and special interests like the oil and gas industry.

What would your top two priorities be if elected?

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has done very little to protect Colorado from the Trump administration or big corporations. That being said, everything is a priority.  I will focus my attention on: (1) environmental and community protections from the oil and gas industry; (2) address the funding disparity in our education system; (3) continue my work on real criminal justice reform; (4) target those pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid crisis; (4) strengthening our consumer protection laws; (6) advocate for greater labor-rights protection; and (7) protecting Colorado from the overreach of the federal government.

What else should the voters know about you?

I am a Colorado native son. We need an attorney general who has an actual record of identifying Colorado problems and bringing Colorado solutions. I do not take corporate PAC (political-action committee) money, nor will I accept money from corporate special interests. I intend on returning this seat back to the people.

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