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In this file photo, a Federal Protective Service officer enters the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver on Nov. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)

Cole Finegan will be nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Colorado’s next U.S. attorney, an important position in which he would direct how federal law enforcement approaches the state’s legal marijuana industry. 

Finegan, whose nomination was announced by the White House, is a known quantity in Colorado’s Democratic political circles. He served as chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and, before that, as chief legal counsel and director of policy and initiatives for then-Gov. Roy Romer.

He is also a prolific Democratic donor. Finegan gave to the U.S. Senate campaigns of both Democrats Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, who recommended him for the vacant U.S. attorney position.

In 2020, Finegan also donated to Biden’s presidential campaign.

Currently, Finegan is the managing partner of the Denver office of the sprawling Hogan Lovells law firm.

“Cole Finegan is a tireless public servant, gifted leader, and first-rate lawyer,” Bennet said in a written statement Tuesaday. “Throughout his career, Cole has displayed tremendous judgement and integrity. All of those who have worked with him know he is compassionate, decent, and committed to the rule of law. I am confident that Cole will serve as U.S Attorney for Colorado with humility and independence, and I will work hard for his confirmation.”

Hickenlooper called Finegan “a brilliant lawyer.”

He will be fair, just, and dedicated, just as the U.S. Attorney in Colorado should be,” Hickenlooper said in a written statement.

Finegan beat out Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson and federal prosecutor Hetal Doshi for the job. 

Colorado’s last U.S. attorney, President Donald Trump-appointee Jason Dunn, stepped down in February and returned to private practice at the powerful law and lobby firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

Finegan’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage....