This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera on April 2nd.
June’s primary to determine the next DA for the 20th Judicial District will be between interim DA Michael Dougherty and state Rep. Mike Foote, who also serves as a deputy DA in Boulder.
There is a push from local political insiders to elect Foote. They’ve seen his good work as a legislator, and perceived Dougherty’s appointment as evidence of Denver party members exerting undue influence on the process.
How about ignoring all the noise and simply voting for the person who would do the best job?
A DA is not a lawmaker, but rather must implement the law. An effective DA needs both exceptional lawyer skills and an ability to manage a staff making dozens of decisions daily that effective lives.
Dougherty is a prosecutor first, politician second, which is why he faces an uphill battle in June. He isn’t well known in local political circles. But he’s dedicated his life to prosecution, managed staffs, pushed for criminal justice reform, and commanded courtrooms. He has a sterling reputation in Colorado and our DA’s office.
On the other hand, since 2012, Foote has been a politician first, prosecutor second. He has never managed a staff or held a leadership position in his capacity as a DA. We do not know how or if his skills as a legislator would transfer over.
Foote’s biggest support comes from outside the sphere in which he would serve if elected. It could be that he’d make a good, or even great, DA. But Dougherty has the expertise, respect of his peers, and progressive ideals necessary to excel in Boulder County.
In June, we should vote for the person who’d make the better DA, not the person with better party connections, whether they be state or local.
Sean M. Stewart