DENVER (AP) — George Brauchler, the Republican district attorney who prosecuted Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, will announce he’s running for governor on Wednesday.

Brauchler’s political future has been the focus of speculation ever since he held a blistering press conference in 2013 to criticize Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s refusal to execute a multiple murderer on death row. In 2015 he led the prosecution of Holmes, failing to secure the death penalty for the theater shooter. He was heavily courted to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016 shortly after the trial concluded but demurred. It was widely assumed that Brauchler was waiting to run in 2018, when Hickenlooper will be termed out.

Brauchler is the first major name on the Republican side to announce his candidacy, but other party luminaries such as Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman are mulling campaigns for the party’s nomination. On the Democratic side, former State Sen. Mike Johnston and Denver businessman Noel Ginsburg have both announced candidacies and Rep. Ed Perlmutter and former Treasurer Cary Kennedy are considering ones.

District Attorney George Brauchler (credit: CBS)

Brauchler teased his announcement Tuesday on Facebook with a video complaining that “the system seems to work best for those who have most” and flashing a possible campaign logo. He confirmed the pending announcement through a spokesman.

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