Two GOP state congressmen throwing support behind Speaker Tom Leonard for Michigan AG
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - We're learning Friday night that Republican Congressmen John Moolenar and Paul Mitchell are throwing their support behind Speaker Tom Leonard in the race for Attorney General.
Leonard announced yesterday that he would be running for the post.
The Attorney Genera's office is one of the most powerful political positions in Michigan. The AG is tasked with protecting consumers, pushing back against federal overreach and prosecuting criminals. So we asked Speaker Leonard directly: "Why are you running for Attorney General?"
"Because I love fighting for people," he replied.
Speaker Tom Leonard is in charge of the State House. Now he wants a promotion as Michigan's next Attorney General.
He'll be campaigning on three big issues.
"The first is combating elder abuse. I want to continue to focus on mental health. And last, tackle this opioid epidemic," he said.
Before he gets to the general election, he must first win a Republican convention fight against State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker who is also running for AG.
"I think I'm a strong general election candidate when you compare me against the others," she said.
Schuitmaker is from West Michigan, and she's well known for helping pass bills to fight the opioid epidemic.
"I have led on issues such as the opioid abuse, human trafficking, and really have been a leader in terms of the law," she said.
After Republicans choose their AG nominee, they may go toe to toe with Democrat Pat Miles in the General Election.
"After my experience as United States Attorney, a lot of candidates who are running for Attorney General are talking about what they are going to do, promise what they are going to do, I've done it as United States Attorney," Miles said.
Miles served as U.S. Attorney under President Obama, and says if he is elected, he'll shut down Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline.
"Eight hundred thousand jobs are at stake for clean fresh water in the Great Lakes; it's just too much of a risk, so I think the line should be shut down," he said.
Detroit democrat Dana Nessel is also running for AG. She's best known for leading a successful fight to legalize gay marriage in Michigan.
Michigan's current Attorney General, Bill Schuette, is termed limited. Schuette announced this summer that he is running for governor in 2018.