DENVER (CBS4) – Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler says he will make a decision on whether to run for U.S. Senate at the beginning of October.
Brauchler is widely considered the Republicans’ best hope for beating incumbent Michael Bennet, but he says he’s not making the decision based on what’s best for his party, but rather his four children — ages 5 through 12 — and his wife of 16 years.
“The more I think about what I can do that is best for my kids, for my family, I try to think about what America is like today versus what it was like when I grew up,” Brauchler said. “Honestly, the America of my childhood I’m not convinced is available anymore to my own children, and that is a significant motivation to want to go out and do something better for them and rest of my neighbors in Colorado.”
The race could have implications for the Republicans’ control of the Senate and the GOP presidential nominee’s chances of winning Colorado. Brauchler says “people ask Mitch McConnell (Republican leader in the U.S. Senate) — have you been on the phone, texting or emailing? Nothing like that from Mitch McConnell or anyone from his staff. I haven’t been back to Washington D.C. to curry favor with anyone or court anyone.
“For the first time more than half of Americans don’t think their children will do better than they will. I’m one of them. That concerns me. That’s the sort of thing that would motivate me to do this not a party or subgroup of a party or some other political aspirations. I have none of those things.”
He says his wife is his biggest sounding-board.
“She gave the answer that any spouse should give and yet is least helpful, and that’s, ‘I’ll support you in anything you do.’ And I’m like, ‘Come on, where is that attitude when it’s time to take the trash out?”
If he runs, Brauchler would have to give up his district attorney seat, spend time away from his family campaigning, and if he wins, work in Washington.
“When you describe it in those favorable, glowing terms I can’t imagine why more people haven’t jumped in. But again I keep coming back to the idea that is there something bigger I can do that has a more positive impact on moving forward for my own kids, my neighbors, the broader Colorado community.”
While there’s been speculation Brauchler would eventually run for governor, he says if he runs and wins Senate he will serve the full term.
“I didn’t grow up thinking to myself someday, ‘If I play all my cards right I can end up in a public institution with a lower approval rating than attorneys.’ I never thought that and maybe that’s something I could help change if I end up deciding to go do this.”
Some Democrats have attacked the district attorney for seeking the death penalty in the Aurora theater shooting trial, saying it was to further his political ambitions. Brauchler says, “For those out there that have maligned the decision and tried to attribute to it some other motivations other than seeking justice, I would say, ‘Tell us what you would have done. Would you have sat across from the mass murderer’s attorneys and said tell us what would he be willing to do? What would he be willing to accept not to have us get justice here?’”
Asked if he can beat incumbent Michael Bennet, Brauchler responded, “I don’t ever go into anything thinking I’m going to lose. I go into it thinking and believing I’m going to come out on top. I’m going to succeed. And that would be true too of this exact race as well.”
A veteran of the Iraq War, he says he’s been overwhelmed and humbled by all the support from the community. He says people approach him in the grocery store, at the gas station and coffee shop urging him to run.
“But again, everything stops and starts probably with my wife’s blessing. I think she’s really starting to appreciate the fact that the decisions made today aren’t just about today, but tomorrow, and that is very important for us for our kids … I’m going to make an announcement in October, no doubt about it.”