Biden Phone Calls Spur Republican to Run for Colorado AG

by Jim Geraghty

Safe to say gun control will be a big issue in Colorado’s elections in 2014:

Sounding more like he was running for governor, House Minority Leader Mark Waller announced his bid Monday to succeed John Suthers as attorney general.

In his announcement made at the University of Denver School of Law, the Colorado Springs Republican talked about the state’s unemployment rate, federal mandates and the Legislature’s approval of controversial gun measures as part of his reasons for seeking the office.

Waller criticized Democratic legislators for accepting telephone calls while on the House floor from Vice President Joe Biden, who was encouraging them to approve two gun measures that went into effect Monday.

At the time, lawmakers were discussing bills to require background checks on all gun purchases and limit the size of gun magazines.

“It was incredibly disappointing in the Legislature this year to see East Coast politicians drive our agenda,” Waller said.

Waller will face Cynthia Coffman, chief deputy attorney general, in a primary; the winner “will face Democrat Don Quick, who was the Adams County district attorney until term limits prevented him from running again last year.”

Coffman, too, will be running against the state’s newly passed gun-control measures:

In the wake of tragic shootings in Newton [sic], Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado, the General Assembly reacted by passing a trio of bills this session impacting gun purchasers and owners. If I’d had the opportunity as a member of the legislature, I would have voted against all three bills. It is admirable to want to stop future tragedies. However, this package of legislation does nothing to address the causes of such horrifying mass shootings. Simple answers elude us when we fail to recognize the complexity of the questions we should be asking. Law-abiding Coloradans have the right to possess guns for protection of their families as well for hunting and sport. I will do my part as Attorney General to preserve those rights.

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