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.