When Governor Bill Ritter nominated former aide Stephanie Villafuerte as U.S. Attorney, he couldn't have known the political storm he'd unleash.
Opponents linked Villafuerte to ex-ICE agent Cory Voorhis, who was fired for providing information from a restricted database to then-gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. And as the fight got uglier, with Colorado Republican Party boss Dick Wadhams calling both Ritter and Villafuerte liars, the odds that she would be able to take office went from slim to none. She wound up withdrawing her name amid angry accusations of a political hit.
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After that mess, you had to figure the next nominee, John Walsh, would be as safe as safe could be -- and that appears to be the case.
Walsh actually ran for Denver District Attorney against current DA Mitch Morrissey -- another person vilified by Voorhis supporters like Peter Boyles. Moreover, he's already won letters of support from both Senator Mark Udall, an energetic supporter of Villafuerte (albeit one who encouraged her to do one more FBI interview than she preferred) and his ideological opposite, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Read their comments in support of Walsh below:
Udall Statement on Nomination of John Walsh to be U.S. Attorney for Colorado
Washington, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall released the following statement on President Obama's nomination of John Walsh, of Denver, to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado:
"I'm very pleased that the President has decided to nominate John Walsh to serve as the next U.S. attorney for Colorado. John is eminently qualified, with extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation, both in private practice and as an assistant U.S. attorney.
"John's one of the most civic-minded people I know. He's a Colorado native who knows the Centennial state forward and backward. I was pleased to nominate John last year. He will serve us well, and I look forward to a swift confirmation."
ATTORNEY GENERAL URGES SWIFT CONFIRMATION OF U.S. ATTORNEY NOMINEE
DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General John Suthers congratulated Denver attorney John F. Walsh on being nominated to be Colorado's next U.S. Attorney and urged the U.S. Senate to move swiftly to confirm him.
"John Walsh is an outstanding attorney. He will bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado both from his time as a prosecutor and from his time in private practice," Suthers said. "John is a very well-qualified candidate for this position, and I would urge the U.S. Senate to move to swiftly confirm him to this important post."
Suthers, who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado from 2001 to 2005, said he looks forward to working together with Walsh to protect Colorado citizens. Colorado's Attorney General and its U.S. Attorney work closely together on issues ranging from prosecuting white collar crime to protecting the state's natural resources.