ROANOKE - The former top federal prosecutor in western Virginia, John Brownlee, announced his candidacy yesterday for the Republican nomination for attorney general.
Mr. Brownlee, 43, stressed his conservative credentials, saying he would speak out against abortion and fight illegal immigration, gang violence, drug abuse and health care fraud. He also said he wanted children to be safe in school and safe from Internet predators.
The current attorney general, Robert F. McDonnell, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
State Sen. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Fairfax County Republican and a lawyer, has already announced his candidacy to succeed Mr. McDonnell. Other Republicans also could emerge as candidates for attorney general.
“Five percent of the staff at the attorney general’s office does prosecution,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “In terms of manpower and decision-making, there’s an awful lot important that goes on. The office has a wide range of responsibility.”
Mr. Brownlee declined to discuss Mr. Cuccinelli’s job qualifications. However, he said his own qualifications - having led an office with criminal, civil and appellate divisions - make him “uniquely qualified” to be Virginia’s top law enforcement official.
Mr. Brownlee’s cases have included the successful prosecution of the maker of the painkiller OxyContin on charges of misleading the public about its risk of addiction, and of ITT for illegally sending overseas classified night-vision technology used by the U.S. military.
By James A. Lyons
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