Mitch Murray is the Republican candidate running for the 8th Judicial District attorney position, which covers both Larimer County and Jackson County.
Currently serving as the first assistant district attorney, Murray has worked for nearly 30 years in the DA’s office occupying a multitude of roles from deputy district attorney to supervisor of the Special Victims Unit. He now seeks to lead the office with a focus on community engagement, reducing recidivism rates and addressing violent crime and gun safety.
Where the current DA hears from a community board, Murray said he wants to “meet communities where they live and hear their concerns.”
“I think by sitting down and talking with people, making sure they know they’re being heard and being willing to explain more about what we’re doing, I can increase people’s trust and faith in the criminal justice system,” Murray said.
Murray said public communication has been limited in the past because the DA’s office wants to prevent influencing potential jurors. However, “big picture” transparency is an important goal for Murray.
On top of increasing publicly available data like the new case-tracking database, he wants to provide demographic data too. He would also look into establishing official social media and having a public information officer.
When it comes to reducing recidivism rates, Murray said he wants to better connect people with resources to help with issues like substance abuse or homelessness.
“I don’t think the criminal justice system or the DA’s office has done as good a job as we can at connecting those,” Murray said.
Those resources should be used in conjunction with well-considered sentencing, Murray said.
“I believe there is an aspect of rehabilitation that oftentimes involves some punishment,” Murray said. “I’ve had a number of people come to me after they’ve gone to prison and come back and tell me, ‘Mr. Murray, you saved my life by breaking what was happening.’”
Ultimately, Murray said his top issue is keeping the community safe as the population grows and local challenges change.
I think by sitting down and talking with people, making sure they know they’re being heard and being willing to explain more about what we’re doing, I can increase people’s trust and faith in the criminal justice system.” – Mitch Murray, Republican DA candidate
He cited his role in creating the Criminal Impact Team which brought together Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor law enforcement agencies to address an uptick in coordinated criminal activity in 2018 and 2019.
“That was done in a large part because of the relationships I have built with our various law enforcement agencies … and the trust the officers have in our office,” Murray said.
The DA’s office has also driven the Juvenile Gun Safety coalition in response to juvenile gun violence. Additionally, Murray said he would continue to expand resources to victim witnesses and support attorneys specializing in sexual assault cases.
Overall, Murray said he is the more experienced and better candidate to do the work he loves.
“When I come into work every day, I know I get to do the right thing for the right reason,” Murray said. “And I get to use my professional experience, my knowledge, my judgment to try and make determinations to … help people and to protect this community. And so whenever I go home, I can look myself comfortably in the mirror and know I am trying to do good.”
Murray’s campaign website is www.votemitchmurrayda.com.
His opponent is Gordon McLaughlin.
Read more about both candidates and this first contested DA race since 1992.
Samantha Ye can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @samxye4.
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