Three candidates with extensive legal backgrounds and vastly different approaches to public policy are defining this year’s race for Michigan Attorney General.
Where Michigan Attorney General candidates stand
With the November general election closing in, the Democratic, Republican and Independent candidates spoke to Bridge Magazine about what they would bring to the state’s highest law-enforcement office. (Two others, Libertarian Lisa Lane Gioia and Gerald T. Van Sickle of U.S. Taxpayers, also are on the ballot.)
Democratic candidate Dana Nessel highlighted her dedication to protecting the state’s most vulnerable and said fighting for clean air and water would be her first priority. Nessel is a former prosecutor who is known for her work on a landmark case that found Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional and is the first openly gay person to run for statewide office in Michigan. She vows to litigate Trump administration policies in court.
Republican Tom Leonard said he’d be a “rule-of-law” Attorney General dedicated to enforcing the state’s existing laws. He promised to expand state resources for mental health treatment courts and for prosecuting elder abuse cases. He is now Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and has been an outspoken supporter of President Trump.
Independent candidate and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Graveline nearly missed the boat for November — he fell short of the necessary 30,000 signatures to make the ballot and sued state elections officials, claiming the number is unconstitutionally high. A U.S. District Judge agreed with him in August and put him on the ballot. Now, he’s hoping to convince Michigan voters that he offers political independence that would serve them the best in the Attorney General’s office.
Our Q-and-A’s with each of the candidates are linked to in the box above.