During stop in Granby, AG candidate Weiser says top priority is to address opioid crisis
GRANBY — With Election Day less than 100 days away, state and local candidates are gearing up for the final months of the campaign season, complete with stops in western slope communities such as Phil Weiser’s Sunday meet and greet in Granby.
“We are showing up everywhere,” Weiser said. “People deserve to get to know anyone who wants to serve them. These are all places that do tend to lean Republican, but I don’t care about party registration. My commitment is to represent all.”
Running for attorney general as a Democratic candidate, Weiser recently defeated Rep. Joe Salazar to win his party’s nomination to run in the general election. In November, Weiser, a law professor at CU Law School, will face off against George Brauchler who currently serves at District Attorney in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District.
On Sunday, Weiser and members of his campaign staff held a meet and greet event at Brickhouse 40 with around two dozen local citizens in attendance. The event was part of Weiser’s ongoing tour of communities across Colorado and followed recent stops in Garfield and Moffat counties. Weiser said his campaign is intentionally traveling to rural areas of the state and acknowledged that most of those areas lean Republican, though he felt such party designations were a secondary concern.
He said his top priority, if elected, would be to address the opioid epidemic in the state.
“We have a crisis right now with increasing numbers of individuals who are addicted,” Weiser said.
Weiser said he would seek to bring legal action against “irresponsible” drug companies and use any potential settlement money to help support drug treatment programs across the state. Weiser has staked out a campaign that highlights his progressive bona fides, including clerking for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and his opposition to the agenda of President Donald Trump.
In terms of opposition to federal actions, Weiser highlighted the current Department of Justice stance on preexisting conditions under the Affordable Care Act as another area of deep concern, saying he would seek to enforce protections for patients with preexisting conditions even if the federal government “fails to do so.”
“There are a number of protections for air quality, including the fuel mileage standard rule and the methane rule, that the EPA is threatening not to continue,” Weiser said. “I will fight for those rules. I believe the effort to undermine them is illegal.”
On other hot button issues this fall Weiser said he is a supporter of Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana.
“I would use every tool I have as attorney general to stand up to Jeff Sessions for our right to exercise sovereign authority to make marijuana legal, “he said.
He also said he supports the right of Colorado communities to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies on immigration related issues and would defend the rights of communities who choose to deny cooperation.
“Where a local government refuses to allow its law enforcement to serve the interests of the Department of Homeland Security I will defend their right to do so,” Weiser said.
The race for Attorney General marks Weiser’s first attempt to become an elected official. His resume includes working as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He previously served in the administrations of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, working as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice for the latter. He spent five years as Dean of the CU Law School and continues to teach constitutional, technology and consumer protection law at the school.
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Grand County voters will be deciding on a number of issues this November from tax increases to school board memberships. Ballots were mailed out last week and Election Day is Nov. 2.