Ohio’s Democratic attorney general candidate is clamming up after telling a crowd of supporters that the state’s attorney general should be appointed, not popularly elected.
Republican Gov. John Kasich, not voters, should be responsible for appointing Ohio’s top lawman, Steve Dettelbach, a Democratic candidate for Ohio’s attorney general, said Wednesday at a local Chamber of Commerce roundtable. He is running to replace outgoing Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine.
“I believe the Ohio attorney general should not be an elected position,” said Dettelbach, according to a report Wednesday from The Washington Times, which was based on the recollection of two anonymous sources who attended the rally. Elected attorneys general are not ideal, he added, because they frequently get bogged down in the minutiae of daily politics.
“The AG is more an enforcer of laws as opposed to a policy maker. The evil in having an elected attorney general is that sometimes they want to do other things,” Dettelbach said.
“Sometimes the actions of the AG are motivated by seeking headlines,” he added
Neither he nor his campaign have responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the alleged incident. Lizzie Ulmer, the spokeswoman for the Democratic Attorneys General Association, tried to staunch the bleeding Thursday in a tweet.
Dettelbach’s “larger point that the Ohio AG needs to hold anyone accountable, regardless of party, is important. Something you guys might want to consider!” she wrote in reply to a tweet from a representative of the Republican Party Attorneys General Association.
Dettelbach’s Republican opponent was quick to seize on the gaffe.
“The attorney general is the lawyer for the people of Ohio — not the lawyer for the governor,” state auditor Dave Yost said in a press release following the incident. “We elect the attorney general to hold the powerful accountable. Steve Dettelbach wants it to be the other way around. But the Ohio attorney general shouldn’t be any governor’s lackey.”
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