Voters pick Brauchler as district attorney

George Brauchler shares a moment with his son Jeff at the Highlands Ranch LoDo's as election results showing Brauchler the likely next district attorney filter in Tuesday night. Photo by Jane Reuter
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Republican George Brauchler will be the new district attorney for Douglas, Arapahoe, Elbert and Lincoln counties, defeating Democrat Ethan Feldman 53 percent to 47 percent, according to unofficial results released on the morning of Nov. 7. Brauchler takes over for term-limited Republican Carol Chambers.

With returns coming in slowly in Arapahoe County late on Election Night, Brauchler expressed cautious optimism that he had landed the job in the 18th Judicial District.

“I’m very confident,” he said, as supporters at the Highlands Ranch LoDo’s sports bar gathered around him to offer hugs, handshakes and congratulations. “We came into tonight very confident.”

Feldman, too, was reluctant to call it a night. At 10:30 p.m., he declined to concede, saying there were “still a lot of votes to count in Arapahoe County.”

However, by the morning of Nov. 7, Feldman posted a statement of concession on his campaign website. “It appear the voters of the 18th Judicial District have spoken and I will not be the next DA,” he wrote.

Feldman’s loss came despite many high-profile endorsements, including those from Republicans such as Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson and former District Attorney Robert Gallagher.

The race was critical this year, some said, with the district thrown into the national spotlight by July’s Aurora theater shootings.

Brauchler’s confidence grew with each passing minute on Election Night. While the definitive answer that hinged on Arapahoe County did not come by night’s end, he admitted the math was in his favor. His words changed from that of a candidate to a district attorney.

“What people can expect is the same bold, new, energetic leadership I’ve been campaigning on since I came back from Iraq in October,” Brauchler said. “This is the most populous jurisdiction in Colorado. We have every reason to expect and demand the best district attorney’s office in Colorado.”

Feldman offered his gratitude the morning of Nov. 7.

“I want to thank all the people who worked so hard for me, and supported me,” he said. “I wish Mr. Brauchler well.”

Brauchler has plenty of work ahead of him.

“This is going to be a significant transition,” he said. “The first thing is to spend these next two months trying to transition into an office that literally hasn’t had anyone outside of it elected to take it over since 1968.”

Brauchler thanked his supporters, many of whom he said don’t have a history of heavy political involvement.

Their belief in him “is humbling,” he said. “It creates more pressure. I want to vindicate the trust these people have in me.”

Brauchler lives in Douglas County and spent much of his career as a military prosecutor. He and his wife have four children.

Feldman lives in Arapahoe County and was a defense attorney, county and municipal court judge and deputy and chief deputy district attorney. He and his wife have two adult children.