DENVER (AP) – Colorado House Republican Leader Mark Waller will try to replace term-limited state Attorney General John Suthers in a contest that includes a former Democratic prosecutor and Suthers’ chief deputy.

Waller made the announcement Monday, joining a field that already includes former Adams County District Attorney Don Quick, a Democrat, and Republican Cynthia Coffman, Suthers’ deputy. A Republican primary, if necessary, would happen next summer.

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Waller formerly served as a Pueblo prosecutor before being elected to the Colorado Legislature in 2008. He was his party’s leader this legislative session. Several Republican lawmakers attended Waller’s announcement at the University of Denver.

At the state Capitol, Waller has worked on several bills dealing with the criminal justice system, including a new law in effect this year that sets a standard for what’s considered too high to drive. In announcing his candidacy, Waller said he would make public safety a priority.

“You know what, I’m raising two kids in this state and I want to ensure my kids, Truman and Camille, and I want ensure that we have a safe, happy, and healthy community to raise our kids in,” he said.

Before becoming a prosecutor and lawmaker, Waller spent 14 years in the military in active duty in reserves. He deployed to Baghdad in 2006 and prosecuted insurgents.

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The election is November 2014.

Coffman, the wife of U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, announced her candidacy last month. Her past experience includes the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. She was also the chief counsel of former Republican Gov. Bill Owens in 2004.

When she announced her entry in the AG’s race, Coffman promised to be an advocate for states’ rights under the 10th Amendment, saying the federal government oversteps its authority “with shocking regularity.”

Quick announced his candidacy in May alongside former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. When Salazar was Colorado’s attorney general, Quick was his chief deputy from 2002 to 2005. Quick’s prosecutorial experience spans more than 25 years and he’s worked on more than 100 jury trails, according to his campaign website.

– By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer

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