Rob Teilhet Officially Enters AG Race

April 6, 2009 12:07 pm

by Icarus · 8 comments

Representative Rob Teilhet has officially entered the race to replace Thurburt Baker as Georgia’s Attorney General. His entire press release appears below the fold.

Jim Galloway’s take on the race can be found here.

My take is this: As of today, Teilhet represents the best chance of the Dems winning a statewide office in the 2010 elections.

My reasons are relatively simple and straightforward. The legal community in Georgia has a unique ability to bypass the traditional political channels and elect their own. If the Republicans decide to choose someone whose primary credentials are that they represent social conservatives, then Teilhet will win in a cakewalk.

I know and like Perry McGuire. His credentials, however, were better suited for the race that he wanted to run, for Secretary of State. With both Karen Handel and Bill Stephens in that race, however, there wasn’t room for the lesser known McGuire, and he was essentially talked in to running for AG. He’s taken a lot of ridicule on these pages for taking one for the team, and that, unfortunately, is unfair.

But with McGuire’s last run for AG, coupled with Mike Wiggins or Grant Brantley’s run for Supreme Court, the results of trying to push a social conservative statewide should be a warning.

If Republicans want to pick up this seat, they need to look hard at legal qualifications first, and social conservative credentials second.

Read Rep. Teilhet’s press release here:

Teilhet Announces Candidacy for Attorney General

Crime Victim Advocacy, Consumer Protection, and Ethics to be Themes of Campaign

SMYRNA, Ga. – State Representative Rob Teilhet (D-Smyrna) today officially announced his candidacy to become Georgia’s next Attorney General. This morning Teilhet filed the necessary paperwork to form his campaign committee, called “Teilhet for a Safer Georgia.”

“As Attorney General, I will fight every day for Georgia families,” said Representative Rob Teilhet. “I will work with law enforcement to ensure that the Attorney General’s office is a powerful partner in the fight for victims and their families. Consumer protection and ethics in government will be top priorities of this campaign.”

Teilhet says his campaign for Attorney General will focus on three things: advocacy for crime victims, consumer protection and ethics in government. His campaign will be chaired by former State Representative Nick Moraitakis.

During his tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives, Teilhet has earned a reputation as a tough-on-crime legislator, passing legislation to expand background checks on people who work with children, the elderly, and Georgians with disabilities. Teilhet reliably supports law enforcement as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Teilhet has also carved out a strong reputation for protecting Georgia consumers. He passed several laws to protect Georgians from identity theft, led the fight to stop the legalization of payday lending, and sponsored legislation to eliminate fraud in refund anticipation loans, marketed as “instant tax refunds.”

He has been a consistent proponent of stronger ethics laws, fighting for limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators, stricter rules regarding conflict of interest in Georgia’s General Assembly, and a stronger Open Records Act.

“As a husband and father, there is nothing more important to me than protecting Georgians who work hard and play by the rules,” said Teilhet. “When I’m Attorney General, violent criminals, rip-off artists and government officials who violate the public’s trust will find no safe haven.”

Teilhet (pronounced tuh-lay) has represented parts of Smyrna and Marietta in the General Assembly since his election in 2002 at the age of 28. He serves on the Education, Judiciary and Industrial Relations Committees in the Georgia House of Representatives. He has been named one of Georgia’s Most Influential People by James Magazine and a “Star to Watch” by the National Journal’s Hotline.

In the community, Teilhet serves on the board of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault. He was named by the State Bar of Georgia to serve on its Lawyer Advertising Task Force, and also serves on the advisory committee of the Cobb Literacy Council. In September of 2007 he joined the Executive Committee of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, a non-profit group of business and community leaders committed to increasing student achievement in Georgia schools.

Teilhet lives in Smyrna with his wife, Heather, and their two daughters. He is a partner in the law firm of Rogers, Strimban & Teilhet in Marietta. He received both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia.

Justin Tomczak April 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I have a lot of respect for Perry McGuire. He is a genuinely nice man and did do the party a favor in 2006 by shifting over to the AG race.

I haven’t heard anything indicating he is looking at this race, and my personal opinion is that he will not run for it. I could be wrong.

We need a great legal mind, and naturally I would like to see this person hold conservative values. Teilhet is no slouch and does have a legitimate shot at winning this race if we don’t put forward the right candidate.

atlantaman April 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I agree that Teilhet is a good candidate, but comparing AG to some past judicial races is not apples to apples. First AG is partisan and judges are not, that means there will be an “R” and a “D” to guide straight ticket voters in an open seat. Second, Brantley and Wiggins were both trying to unseat incumbents.

Trying to beat an incumbent judge in Georgia has to be the toughest thing to do in GA politics. There is a huge incumbent advantage (more than in a partisan race) without the “R” and “D” to guide in a down-ballot judicial race. There are conservative judges in liberal counties like Fulton and Dekalb and liberal judges in conservative rural counties as a testament to that fact.

I would bet that GA is still a GOP state, but taking the economy and some other issues into consideration means it’s the best shot the Dems have had in a couple of terms.

Chris April 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Icarus,

Are you trying to tell me that hating homos, immigrants and placing the protection of a clump of cells over that of a fully formed human being are NOT the Georgia legal community’s top priorities?

atlantaman April 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

McGuire is a good man. People have tried to make it seem as if his campaign for AG was all about abortion and prayer in schools, which was not the case. Perry is a bright and honorable man, who happens to be a social conservative, and would have been a great Attorney General.

SUZIQ April 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I think we need someone out of the Atlanta normal Republican “loop”. It’s like serving the same leftovers over and over! Don’t we have anyone new who is a strong leader, attractive candidate, qualified and would also kick the stuffing out the D candidate !!

atlantaman April 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Of the current GOP statewide office holders outside of Atlanta, you have Sonny, Casey and Saxby.

OleDirtyBarrister April 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Perry McGuire is a paper shuffler and does not have the right experience.

Shorty Telheit is a lightweight as well. He has only been out of law school 9-10 years, which is just barely enough to make partner and serve as lead counsel in complex litigation handled by large firms. I am not sure exactly what he has done in private practice. Did he do significant litigation, including trial work? Has anyone ever heard of any major legal achievements he has? I have not.

I guess that Telheit will get the Georgia alumni Sigma Nu vote.

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