The two Democratic candidates running for attorney general have one thing in common: they are both Birmingham lawyers.
Over the last year, there has been a major shift in state government due to corruption convictions in its three main branches.
Candidate Chris Christie blames current AG Steve Marshall and his team for not prosecuting Governor Robert Bentley after allegations emerged of a staff member being paid by outside funds.
“There’s been nothing done to investigate, or at least there hasn’t been no public disclosure of any investigation to what people were expecting in return for having paid the governor’s chief of staff and the money she was making while working for the governor,” Christie said.
Joseph Siegelman, son of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, believes there are other cases in the attorney general’s office that should be investigated.
“We’re going to take those cases very seriously and we are going to conduct a thorough, independent, and impartial investigation to make sure that those that do abuse the public trust are held accountable.”
Macon and Greene counties continue to play electronic bingo, which is another point of issue in the AG election. Both Democratic candidates oppose the AG’s office getting involved in shutting them down.
“I think the gambling issue is one that is largely behind us,” Siegelman said. “I’m going to be focused on issues such as tackling this opioid epidemic that seems to be getting worse every day, and making sure that our communities, especially our schools, are safe.”
“I believe that the local law enforcement, both the district attorneys, and the sheriff should be responsible for enforcing the law in counties like Greene County,” Christie said.
Increases in crime in certain parts of the state has emerged as another sticking point in the election.
“We’ve got way too many people in prison for nonviolent offenses, where they ought to be in some kind of work release program or getting drug treatment or mental health treatment,” Christie said.
“We’ve got to make sure that we are both smart on crime and tough on crime so that our tax dollars aren’t being spent in a way that actually makes our communities less safe,” Siegelman said.
These candidates and more will be on the ballot for the June 5 primary.