Briefline

Phil Weiser beats John Kellner in race for Colorado attorney general

By: - November 8, 2022 10:17 pm

Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks at the 2022 Denver Metro Chamber candidate forum at the University of Denver, Oct 12, 2022. Weiser spoke about his campaign for reelection as the attorney general for Colorado. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)

Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser will serve a second term after Colorado voters elected him over his Republican opponent John Kellner Tuesday night.

As of 9:30 p.m. on Election Night when the Associated Press called the race, Weiser led with about 54.5% of the vote to Kellner’s approximately 44%.

“Four years ago when I stood before you, I talked about my commitment to serving as the People’s Lawyer. Now I stand before you with a team and a record of what that means—advancing the rule of law, protecting our democracy, and promoting justice for all. We have more work to do in a second term. As we do this work, we will keep in mind that Colorado’s role is to be a beacon for our nation and what it means to live in a democratic republic—a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Weiser said in a Wednesday morning statement.

Kellner conceded at about 9 p.m. on Election Night.

In his concession speech at the GOP watch party in Greenwood Village, Kellner addressed the loss of all four GOP candidates for statewide offices.

“At times like this, it’s hard to stand in this room as Republicans and wonder what the future of our party looks like in the state of Colorado. And you might wonder ‘Was it worth it?’ I want to tell you, unequivocally, it absolutely was. We made some inroads in this state that may be easy to overlook,” he said, arguing that Republicans’ efforts elevated issues like public safety to the forefront of voters’ minds.

While both candidates had pledged to enforce Colorado’s recently enacted Reproductive Health Equity Act that put the right to abortion into state law, Weiser was far more vocal in his favor for broad abortion rights.

On the campaign trail, Kellner attacked Weiser’s record by pointing to rising crime rates and the increasing fentanyl epidemic. Weiser touted his record on protecting consumer rights and advocating for legislation that he says increase public safety.

Weiser raised and spent considerably more than Kellner to win reelection. He raised over $4.5 million and spent about $4.2 million. Kellner, on the other hand, raised about $350,000 and spent about $300,000.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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