- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Democratic state Rep. Joe Hubbard announced a run for Alabama attorney general Thursday, accusing Republican incumbent Luther Strange of being an “absentee attorney general.”

Hubbard, 32, is completing his first term in the Alabama Legislature, where he serves as minority whip. He is the great-grandson of former U.S. Sen. Lister Hill, who represented Alabama in Washington, D.C., for more than 45 years.

“My great-grandfather had a saying: ‘Public service is the highest of callings,’ and I believe that to my core,” said Hubbard, of Montgomery.

Hubbard said Strange is an “absentee attorney general” who has not done enough to address crime, public corruption and consumer protection.

“I’m running for attorney general because the people of this state deserve a leader who will fight for their interest, not his own political interest,” Hubbard said.

An aide to Strange did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Hubbard also criticized Strange’s stance on electronic bingo, specifically the attorney general’s attempts to close casinos operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

“On electronic gaming, I’m afraid our attorney general is spending entirely far too much of our law enforcement resources in this state chasing down industries that have a legal right to operate, instead of chasing down the real criminals,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in metro Birmingham. The GOP-controlled Legislature eliminated his legislative district when it drew new district lines that take effect later this year.

Hubbard faces a well-financed incumbent Republican in a state where Democrats hold no statewide offices. Strange this week reported a balance in his re-election campaign war chest of $1.2 million.

Hubbard has a balance of $75,987. He acknowledged he is facing an uphill battle in the race.

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