Karzen qualifies for ballot as unaffiliated candidate for district DA | CraigDailyPress.com

Karzen qualifies for ballot as unaffiliated candidate for district DA

Lisa Schlichtman / Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs prosecutor Matt Karzen is sworn in in July 2019 as the district attorney of the 14th Judicial District by Chief Judge Michael O’Hara. Karzen announced his candidacy to keep his position in the 2020 election on Wednesday.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot & Today

Matt Karzan, who is running for district attorney of the 14th Judicial District as an unaffiliated candidate, has submitted the required number of valid signatures to appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

“I’m thrilled to have gathered the signatures particularly in a pandemic,” Karzen said. “It was only possible with the help of many friends and supporters in the district, so really they get all the credit, and I am forever grateful to those who signed in support.”

According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, candidates wishing to seek nomination for district attorney by petition are required to collect at least 1,000 signatures or 3% of the votes cast in their district in the most recent general election, whichever is less. 

For Karzen, this meant he was tasked with securing at least 560 valid signatures. He submitted a total of 975 signatures, and 782 were validated, which exceeded the statutory threshold.

Karzen is running unopposed in the November election.

District Attorney Matt Karzen
Courtesy Photo

Karzen was appointed to the DA’s position by Gov. Jared Polis last summer after Brett Barkey resigned from the post to pursue volunteer and educational opportunities. In January, Karzen announced he would be running for the position as an unaffiliated candidate in November.

As DA, Karzen has worked to find alternatives to filing criminal charges for certain drug-related offenses, seeking treatment rather than jail time. He also has sought to improve public outreach to raise awareness of the work his office does and how it is seeking to improve the criminal justice system. 

Karzen has over 24 years of criminal law experience, including four years as assistant DA prior to replacing Barkey.  

Karzen is also among 16 applicants for the 14th Judicial District Court judgeship. The vacancy was created when Judge Shelley Hill announced she was retiring from the bench in January 2021.

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