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Don Quick

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Don Quick
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Court Information:
Colorado Seventeenth Judicial District
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Gov. John Hickenlooper
Active:   2015-2018
Preceded by:   Chris Melonakis
Past post:   Senior counsel, Beatty & Wozniak, P.C.
Past post 2:   District attorney, 17th Judicial District
Past term 2:   2005-2013
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of Colorado, 1982
Law School:   University of Colorado School of Law, 1986

Don Quick is a judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District Court in Colorado. He was appointed to the court by Governor John Hickenlooper on December 9, 2014, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Chris Melonakis. Quick assumed office on January 12, 2015. After an initial term of at least two years, he must run for retention to the court.[1]


Quick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 1982 and his J.D. degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1986.[1]


Before his appointment to the Seventeenth Judicial District Court, Quick was a senior counsel at the law firm of Beatty & Wozniak, P.C. He previously served as a district attorney for the 17th Judicial District from 2005 to 2013, as chief deputy attorney general from 2002 to 2005, and as deputy attorney general for the Criminal Justice Section from 1999 to 2004.[1]

Quick was a Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Colorado in the 2014 elections, but did not win.[2]



See also: Colorado attorney general election, 2014

Quick ran for election as Attorney General of Colorado. Quick was seeking to replace John Suthers (R), who was ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits. He ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the primary election on June 24, 2014, and lost to Cynthia Coffman (R) in the general election on November 4, 2014.[2]

Attorney General of Colorado, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCynthia Coffman 51.4% 1,002,626
     Democratic Don Quick 42.4% 826,182
     Libertarian David K. Williams 6.2% 120,745
Total Votes 1,949,553
Election Results via Colorado Secretary of State.

Race background

Originally appointed in 2005 to fill a vacancy in the office, outgoing Republican Colorado Attorney General John Suthers went on to win two full terms in 2006 and 2010. He was barred by term limits from running for a third consecutive term, leaving the attorney general seat open in the 2014 elections.

The seat was first marked as "vulnerable" to partisan switch in a March 2013 report Governing put together about the 2014 attorney general elections.[3] In December, the same publication rated the race a "tossup." Out of a total of 31 attorney general seats up for election nationwide in 2014, only four received this rating, including Colorado. The others were Arizona, Arkansas and Wisconsin.[4] Against the backdrop of Colorado's "purple" partisan landscape, statewide races are flagged as competitive early on because major party organizations and other interests get involved in order to exert influence over state government.

In this case, Democratic Party forces placed their faith and money in the campaign of Don Quick, a career prosecutor whom Governing called "a strong contender to flip the seat."[3] Quick previously served as District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, which includes Adams County, and spent six years as deputy attorney general under Suthers' predecessor, Democrat Ken Salazar.[5][2]

Also vying to succeed Suthers as Colorado's chief legal officer was Republican contender Cynthia Coffman. Coffman served as chief deputy under Suthers. Coffman's husband, Mike Coffman (R), is a three-term U.S. Representative from Colorado's 6th Congressional District and a former Colorado Secretary of State.[6][2] Like Quick, she had the connections and access to deep pockets necessary for running a legitimate statewide campaign.

Quick and Coffman were uncontested for their respective party nominations in the June 24 primary and advanced automatically to the general election. Libertarian attorney and party activist David K. Williams was the only third party candidate on the November ballot. Coffman won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Money in the race

The Republican Attorney Generals Association spent $2.6 million on Coffman's campaign as of September. Quick was operating on less than one-quarter of that amount, and he tried to compensate for the relative funding shortage by "walking 2.6 miles a day in campaigning."[7]

Campaign themes

  • Public Corruption:
If elected, I will develop a public corruption prosecution unit within the office that will assist local jurisdictions with their corruption prosecutions and help restore the public trust in our government.[8]

—Don Quick[9]

  • Natural Resources:
While working for Attorney General Salazar, I established Colorado’s Environmental Crimes Prosecution Unit. As your next Attorney General, I will strengthen and expand our efforts to protect all of Colorado’s natural resources. I will make protection of our land, water and wildlife one of my top priorities.[8]

—Don Quick[10]

  • Equality and Civil Rights:
I believe that “Equal Protection of the Laws” is not simply a phrase in the Constitution; it is the cornerstone of our justice system. As Attorney General, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of every Coloradan are protected, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.[8]

—Don Quick[11]

  • Safer Schools:
Over the last 15 years, I have worked with schools and law enforcement agencies to create safer schools by keeping guns and gangs out of schools, implementing anti-bullying policies, facilitating early and appropriate intervention through information sharing, and establishing Safe 2 Tell, an anonymous call system allowing kids and their parents to report potential dangers. I will continue to focus on creating safe schools as your next Attorney General.[8]

—Don Quick[12]


Colorado Attorney General - 2014 General Election
Poll Cynthia Coffman (R) Don Quick (D)David K. Williams (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Gravis Marketing
July 8-10, 2014
Public Policy Polling
July 17-20, 2014
Suffolk University
September 9-16, 2014
AVERAGES 40% 32.33% 4.6% 22.73% +/-3.73 753
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round

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