Newspaper article

GOP Sen. Scott Newman Jumps into Race for Minnesota Attorney General

Newspaper article

GOP Sen. Scott Newman Jumps into Race for Minnesota Attorney General

Article excerpt

GOP Sen. Scott Newman announced his long-rumored bid for the attorney general's office Thursday -- a day before the state GOP convention -- and kicked things off by pointing out that Minnesotans haven't elected a Republican to that office since 1966.

That's when former Republican Attorney General Doug Head was elected. Since his departure in 1971 there's been a long string of DFLers in the job, including current two-term Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Newman, the only announced Republican candidate in the race, wants to change that.

"There has become a sense of entitlement to that office by the DFL party, and along with that sense of entitlement, gradually, I think there has crept into that office the idea that it's OK to promote your own political views and political viewpoints," said Newman, an attorney and two-term senator. "I do not agree with that. I think the attorney general's job is to enforce the laws of the state of Minnesota."

So what would the state's first Republican attorney general in nearly 50 years look like if voters picked Newman?

A William Mitchell College of Law graduate and a self-described "country lawyer" -- he hails from Hutchinson, about 60 miles west of the Twin Cities -- Newman has dabbled in everything from real estate law to criminal and civil proceedings. He's a former Hennepin County deputy sheriff, public defender and administrative law judge. He was a one-term House member.

Newman would also be a much more wonky attorney general than Swanson, who has spent much of her career focusing on consumer protection cases across the state. Newman is pledging to insert himself in administrative law and regulatory relief.

Newman would encourage the Legislature to cut back on state agencies and commissioners' ability to do rulemaking -- setting rules to enforce the state's laws. He would also push the judicial branch to take away commissioners' authority to have the final say in everything from licensing and permitting to violations. …

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