18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler announces candidacy for governor

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DENVER -- George Brauchler, the 18th judicial district attorney in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, announced his candidacy for governor on Wednesday morning.

Brauchler is seeking the Republican nomination.

The move culminates what has been years of speculation regarding when the he would seek higher office.

His announcement came less than 24 hours after a Facebook video surfaced telling his supporters to "stay tuned."

Brauchler was first thrust in the spotlight after high-profile events in recent years.

He prosecuted the Aurora theater shooting and harshly criticized Gov. John Hickenlooper after he issued a stay of execution.

Brauchler, who is active on social media, might take on a Donald Trump-like strategy -- using Twitter to engage voters.

Brauchler has already used Twitter to level criticism at Republicans for working with Democrats on a tax increase transportation proposal.

He is expected to be a contender in what could be a crowded GOP field. Four Republicans have already declared, including former State Rep. Noel Ginsberg.

Brauchler's biggest competition is expected to be State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who has been on television supporting other causes in an effort to raise his name ID.

"The Republican primary for governor will be blessed with some very high-caliber leaders," GOP analyst Ryan Frazier said. "George is one of them. He's the real deal. He is a Colorado native, a veteran, a great DA and a father.

"He's already a standout so his biggest challenge from the start will be to put together needed resources to sustain the staying power he'll need to win. George elevates the Republican primary. He'll have a heck of a fight on his hands but should he prevail, we can expect him to be a unifying force for Colorado."

On the Democratic side, State Sen. Mike Johnson has announced he is running, but a handful of candidates remain undecided. Congressman Ed Perlmutter is expected to enter the race after former Sen. Ken Salazar said he will not run.

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