Few thought it possible for a Democrat to win a legislative race in conservative Douglas County, Colorado. Bob Marshall did just that in House District 43. Nobody in America had to fight harder to win.
Marshall doesn’t start fights. He finishes them.
Marine training helps. Almost three decades. Mostly active. Some reserve.
Young Bob grew up in a rock-ribbed Republican Evergreen, Colorado, family. As an adult, Bob was proudly GOP for 30 years.
A Georgetown-educated Marine officer, Marshall traveled the world, including assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Along the way, he earned a Cornell law degree, which led to a prestigious clerkship for renowned Republican appointed 6th Circuit appellate Judge Eugene Siler.
Next, Lt. Col. Marshall and his wife decided to raise their family in Highlands Ranch. Marshall worked for a prestigious Denver law firm and then, the federal government.
And then the United States experienced a major political upheaval named Donald Trump. Marshall supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich and was dismayed when he and other GOP presidential hopefuls failed in 2016.
Former President Trump faked bone spurs rather than serve in the military.
Brave U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan was an Iraq War fatality.
Recall how Khan’s grieving Gold Star parents took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where his father decried Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. Trump returned fire by ripping the dead captain’s mother. Marshall became a Never Trumper right then.
In late 2017, Marshall departed the GOP for good over its support of deviant Judge Roy Moore in Alabama’s 2017 special U.S. Senate election. But Marshall was not fully activated until Trump’s July 4, 2020, super-divisive Mount Rushmore rally.
As memorably documented in the Colorado Sun, Marshall began marching daily at the busy intersection of Broadway and Highlands Ranch Parkway. Marshall carried pro-Biden signs and an American flag.
People took notice. Some joined with him. Others tried to run him over. Counter-protests by Trump supporters were common.
Some Trump fans harangued Marshall. Many called him a communist and pedophile with no right to carry the U.S. flag. But Marshall was prepared. Inside his vehicle, he had stored a MAGA hat, Trump 2020 sign and Confederate flag. Marshall made a plan to mock the Trump supporters, ridiculing the logical extension of Trumpism.
Tired of being harangued for carrying Old Glory, Bob came back to the busy intersection with his MAGA gear while waving the Stars and Bars. Bob shouted: “Four more years!” The MAGA types were unamused. But they got the message.
Weeks later, on Sept. 10, 2020, scores of protesters were at that Highlands Ranch intersection demonstrating for and against the reelection of Trump. Some young people carried Black Lives Matter signs, which triggered trouble with the pro-Trump crowd.
When two teenage girls were attacked, Marshall calmed things down. But in the process, someone trampled and destroyed Marshall’s American flag. Undaunted, Marshall retrieved the Confederate flag and put on MAGA-wear to again make his point through mockery.
That’s when Marshall got assaulted. A former Douglas County School Board member who is a Douglas County Republican Party vice-president, suckerpunched Marshall at the base of his skull. The blow knocked off Marshall’s red MAGA cap.
The Daily Sun-Up podcast | More episodes
Although concussed, Marine Bob whirled and struck back with force. Two quick strikes landed in the Republican official’s face. Douglas County sheriff’s deputies saw it all. They immediately handcuffed the official and took statements from witnesses.
MAGA crowd members claimed Marshall started the physical violence. Body-cam and dash-cam recordings proved they were lying. Regardless, arresting officers witnessed the punch.
Sadly, after lengthy law enforcement discussion, a poor command decision was made to unhandcuff the official and to charge Marshall and all involved with disorderly conduct.
It is a miscarriage of justice to charge a victim with a crime. It was not until many months later, on the eve of Marshall’s misdemeanor trial, that John Kellner’s 18th Judicial District DA’s Office finally dismissed the case.
Meanwhile, Marshall switched his party affiliation to Democrat in 2021. He also filed a civil lawsuit for assault and malicious prosecution against the perpetrator.
My law firm was retained to handle the civil court matter. An excellent mediated settlement followed. Our civil trial date had been the second week of November, but the official and his homeowner’s insurance company wanted resolution.
The second week of November produced a sweet electoral victory for Marshall. This was a pivot point for Highlands Ranch and perhaps, for America, too. Douglas County gets an energetic new legislator with courage to obtain justice. Marshall’s priorities are to improve education and mental health in Colorado.
Since Marshall’s election, Democratic and GOP colleagues at the Capitol have asked if he’ll ever become GOP again. Marshall responds, “I could never switch back till there is a generational change. Too many Republicans just enabled fascist behavior that betrayed America.”
As Representative-Elect Marshall attended legislative orientation last week, Donald Trump lamely announced he wants to be president again.
Expect Marshall to excel as an elected official. As more Americans stand up against MAGA, Trump’s days as an elected official will remain finished.
Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun and an active Colorado trial lawyer with Craig Silverman Law, LLC. He also hosts The Craig Silverman Show podcast.
The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to email@example.com. (Learn more about how to submit a column.)
Follow Colorado Sun Opinion on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.