Wills to make run for DA | AspenTimes.com

Wills to make run for DA

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills said Tuesday that he intends to run for district attorney for the 9th Judicial District in November.

Current District Attorney Mac Myers will complete his second four-year term in office next January. District attorneys are limited to two terms in office. Wills said he is seeking the Republican nomination.

The 9th Judicial District includes Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.

“This district is largely Republican with Pitkin County being largely Democratic,” Wills said. “But this type of position is bipartisan, and people are looking for an experienced person to be their district attorney and someone that’s tough. I feel I fit both of those qualifications.”

Wills has been the district’s assistant district attorney since 1998. He has been in Pitkin County since 1992, working with then-District Attorney Milt Blakey, as the district’s deputy district attorney and chief deputy district attorney.

Wills received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1980 from Colorado State University and attended the University of Colorado School of Law. He became a prosecutor in the 4th Judicial District in El Paso County in 1991.

No one else thus far has announced their intention to run for the office. Besides being elected to the board of the Brush Creek Metropolitan District, where he resides, Wills said this is the first time he has run for office.

“I’m a career prosecutor ” it’s always been what I do and what I like to do,” he said.

The character of the district has changed just in the past five years, Wills said, pointing to a number of homicides in the area since 1998, as well as 22 felony-level sexual assaults filed in the district in 2003 alone. Wills successfully prosecuted Andrew Kachik in a 2002 first-degree murder trial and Marcos Garcia-Flores in a 2001 sexual assault trial. Both men are serving life sentences in the Department of Corrections.

He said he hopes to work on the district attorney office’s communication and relationships with law enforcement agencies, defense attorneys and the public. The 9th Judicial District has roughly 70,000 residents, he said. Last year the district attorney office filed 6,500 cases.

Wills said his campaign treasurer is Steve Lampman, an accountant in Glenwood Springs with Monahan, Lampman and Hays.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]