Attorney general, state treasurer, U.S. House of Representatives District 3 races gain traction | CraigDailyPress.com

Attorney general, state treasurer, U.S. House of Representatives District 3 races gain traction

Janelle O'Dea

As Nov. 4 approaches, Moffat County residents are still evaluating whom they want to vote for.

Here's an overview from the Craig Daily Press about the attorney general race, the state treasurer race and the District 3 Representative to the 114th United States Congress race:

Candidates justify why they should take attorney general seat

Republican incumbent and 37th Attorney General John Suthers is term-limited and cannot run for a third term.

Switching up his political career, Suthers is running for Colorado Springs mayor in 2015 against El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen.

According to the National Association of attorneys general's description of the job: "as the chief legal officer of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, the attorneys general serve as counselors to their legislatures and state agencies and also as the 'People’s Lawyer' for all citizens."

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The Colorado attorney general serves a four-year term.

Democrat Don Quick is vying for the attorney general seat and running against Republican candidate Cynthia Coffman and Libertarian candidate David K. Williams.

"An attorney general should be tough on crime, but you gotta be smart about crime at the same time," Quick said in a video on his website. "And I am tough on crime. For 26 years I've locked up violent criminals… crime prevention is just as important as being tough on crime."

Quick served as an elected district attorney in Adams County as well as top deputy to former Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar.

Running against Quick is Republican candidate Cynthia Coffman who worked for the Colorado General Assembly's Office of Legislative Council after she moved from Georgia to Colorado. After holding several other government and private-sector positions, Coffman was appointed by Suthers as his chief deputy in 2005.

In a column published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Coffman expressed some of her goals if she is elected:

"I will address public safety concerns in the areas of school safety, intimate partner violence, Internet crimes against children and human trafficking," Coffman said.

David K. Williams, the libertarian candidate out of Fort Collins is a private practice lawyer who has never served in any elected offices.

According to Williams' website:

"He is not bound with the tendency of politicians to entrench themselves within the government bureaucracy for decades. His aim is to serve the citizens of Colorado by restoring a constitutional approach to the attorney general's office."

Stapleton, Markey, Jurist wage campaigns for state treasurer

Republican incumbent Walker Stapleton recently visited Craig to discuss Colorado's public employee retirement system, education funding and energy industry.

"We have a retirement system that I consistently worked to try and reform and fix in the state that has a $26 billion liability associated with it," Stapleton said. "That liability has only grown since the time that I've been treasurer."

Stapleton was elected in 2010 for his first four-year term as treasurer. During his tenure, he has worked on reforming the office's bond-issuing process as well as refinancing the state's unemployment insurance.

According to the Colorado Department of Treasury's website, the treasurer is responsible for taxpayer funds:

"The Colorado state treasury is the constitutional custodian of the public’s funds. It is the Treasury’s duty to manage and account for the citizen’s tax dollars from the time they are received until the time they are disbursed. The treasury’s staff is committed to safeguarding and managing the people’s monies with the same diligence and care as they do their own."

For more information about the treasurer's duties, see the Colorado state treasury "About Us" page.

Democrat Betsy Markey is running against Stapleton. She represented Colorado's 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011. After losing to Cory Gardner in 2010, Markey assumed the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs position for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Markey visited Craig in August, where she talked about supporting the Public Employees' Retirement Association.

The treasurer “has a responsibility to protect that retirement system," Markey said. "I'll be working hard on their behalf."

Libertarian candidate David Jurist is the underdog in the treasurer's race. Jurist could not be reached for comment.

District 3 U.S. Representative incumbent hopes to tip scales in his favor

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton has served Colorado's District 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives twice, elected first in 2010 and again in 2012.

District 3 encompasses Pueblo, Grand Junction, Durango and the Western Slope.

Before becoming a U.S. representative, Tipton was in the Colorado House of Representatives representing the 58th District for two years.

During his two years as a state representative and four years in the U.S. House, Tipton has worked on water quality, air quality and child protection through legislation mandating stricter punishments for child sex-offenders and allowing law enforcement to collect DNA from suspects.

Tipton wants to decrease federal influence on regulations in Colorado.

"We've got an out-of-control regulatory environment," Tipton said during a visit to Northwest Colorado in May.

Democrat Abel J. Tapia, Libertarian Travis Mero and Tisha T. Casida, unaffiliated with any party, are running against Tipton.

Tapia previously worked on the Colorado House of Representatives for District 46 and owned his own company, Abel Engineering Professionals.

According to his website, he wants to make sure Colorado is small business-friendly:

"The entire nation enjoys visiting the treasures that we have but for those of us who live here, we understand that infrastructure must be maintained so that our small businesses can compete nationally."

Travis Mero could not be reached for comment.

Casida, according to her website, is "an advocate of liberty she is not allegiant to a political party and votes for principle over party." Some of her goals include upholding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as reducing the reach of the federal government in Colorado.

When he appeared at Colorado Mesa University, Ron Paul endorsed Casida.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@craigdailypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jayohday.