Attorney General John Suthers
, 62, says he'll run for mayor of Colorado Springs, setting up a duel between two conservatives.
El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen
announced Monday that she'll run for the $96,000
Suthers, who served as 4th Judicial District district attorney
from 1989 to 1997, has also been in private practice, headed the Colorado Department of Corrections
, served as U.S. Attorney
and was elected twice as Colorado attorney general.
"After considering all of some very attractive offers, I have concluded that serving as mayor of Colorado Springs would probably be the most challenging and have the most impact on the city and its future direction," he says in an interview this morning. "I’m going to take a shot at it."
Suthers predicted the campaign will be contentious and spirited and added the city needs a leader who will bring people together.
"I’ve watched, in my opinion, the city lose considerable traction over the last 10 to 15 years," he says. "I don’t think anybody disputes the fact we’re in desperate need of collaborative leadership. I do think I have a management style that would move the city forward. I can talk with people and hopefully reach some consensus on some things."
Suthers says he'll construct his campaign over the coming months and launch it officially in January after he leaves the Attorney General's office. He also vows to work on his campaign full time from January to April.
"I will bring a lot of energy to it," he says.
"Also, I hope to be the rational voice in the process."
A life-long resident of the city, Suthers was born in Denver and adopted by a Springs couple at the age of 3 weeks. "I literally grew up with the city," he says. "I remember when Circle Drive was a dirt road." He has watched, he notes, as the city grew from 40,000 people to become the 41st largest U.S. city. It's bigger than Oakland, New Orleans and Cleveland
, he says.
Suthers also is an author. From his AG website:
Suthers has authored five books, including his most recent, No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility: A Prosecutor Makes His Case (Fulcrum Publishing, 2008).
In his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Suthers has initiated successful programs to protect children from Internet predators and to reduce mortgage and foreclosure fraud. He has served as Chairman of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, a member of the NAAG Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the NAAG Criminal Law Committee and as a member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Executive Working Group.
He and his wife, Janet, have two daughters: Alison, a deputy district attorney in Denver, and Kate, a lieutenant commander in Navy serving in Africa.
The incumbent Steve Bach
has said he'll make a decision by November as to whether he'll seek a second term.