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Brian Mason announces candidacy for DA of 17th judicial district

The Brighton Blade

By Sean Kennedy

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 3:26 pm (Updated: April 24, 3:27 pm)

Attorney Brian Mason announced today that he is running for District Attorney in Colorado’s 17th judicial district, which encompasses Adams and Broomfield counties.  He is seeking the Democratic nomination on the ballot. Mason currently serves as Chief Trial Deputy in the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a position in which he supervises 25 attorneys in the office and all felony cases.  

Brian Mason, the Chief Trial Deputy in the office of the 17th Judicial District Attorney, is running for District Attorney.

“I really care about this community, I’ve served it for years in the DA’s office,” Mason said. “really care about this county, both these counties... I see this as a new opportunity to make an impact. Mason, who lives in Westminster, has worked in the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office after being hired by Don Quick, the DA that preceded the current DA, Dave Young. He’s a proud Colorado native, having grown up in Aurora and Littleton in a military family. The only attorney in his family, Mason left Colorado after high school to attend Kenyon College in Ohio where he majored in political science and performed in an acapella group on campus. Following graduation, he began a career on Capitol Hill, working as an aide in the Clinton white house and later for Pete Stark, a Democratic congressman from California. He returned to Colorado in 2003 to attend the University of Colorado law school, spurred by, he said, a desire to “make a concrete difference” in his own community. And he said it’s that passion to make an impact that has kept him in Colorado – and the DA’s office – so long since then.

“One of the most powerful things about being a district attorney is that we are brought into people's lives in a very intimate way,” Mason said. “And it’s often at the worst times in their lives…I’ve had to hold the hands of family whose kids had been murdered.”

As a longtime employee in the 17th district attorney’s office, Mason said he’s learned from (previous DAs) Quick and Young and would like to make some changes of his own.

Mason cited a few key priorities, including having the DA’s office take a greater, more visible role in the community by standing up for victims of violence and sexual assault, expanding diversion programs and increasing the focus on specialty courts. He also said he supports reform of cash bail, a hot topic in some political circles. “I’m for responsible bail reform,” Mason said, “The purpose of bail is to get people to come back to court, not to keep poor people in jail.”

He did not say, however, that he supports ending cash bail entirely, which some activists have called for.

Overall, he said, if elected district attorney, he would focus the culture on “doing the right thing.”

“I believe in empowering my employees to do what’s right in every case,” Mason said. “Do the right thing, at all times, in any case, no matter what.”

But what does that mean? “I try to train my deputies to treat each case individually, that’s both my management style and my belief,” Mason said. “Our job as DAs is not simply to lock people up, but to do the right thing for each person.” Mason gave an example of previous case he had worked to illustrate his policy of “doing the right thing.” “I had a case few years ago where the defendant was drinking with his older sister and her boyfriend. He got agitated and stabbed both of them. Under our sentencing laws, if he had been convicted on top charges, he would have faced up to 46 years in prison... he was 19 or 20. The sister and boyfriend were two of the most gracious victims I have ever met; they didn’t want to see him go to prison for 40 years. I crafted an agreement with his attorney that had him plead guilty, serve 3 years, get out and get treatment for his issues. I took into the victim's wishes, his age and his mental health issues.”

Based on the large amount of support he has received from public figures at the start of his campaign, it would appear Mason’s approach resonates with some in the community. Mason announced his campaign with endorsements from Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congressman Joe Neguse, a majority of the Adams and Broomfield delegations to the state legislature, a majority of the members of the Adams County commissioners, members of city councils throughout the judicial district, members of law enforcement and community leaders throughout the judicial district.

“Brian Mason is a leader with the highest integrity and I’m proud to endorse his campaign for District Attorney,” said Congressman Ed Perlmutter.  “Brian’s years of service to our community, his passion for helping crime victims, and his commitment to improving the criminal justice system make him the right leader to be the next District Attorney for Adams and Broomfield counties.”

The Brian Mason for District Attorney campaign will host a public campaign kickoff event on Saturday, May 19, 2019 at Westminster Center Park, 4801 W. 92nd Ave in Westminster, CO from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  For more information, please visit the campaign website at    

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