Who “must” we nominate for AG?

By VA Blogger

It’s been far too long, but Bwana has a new post over at RR endorsing Cuccinelli and going over his thoughts on the convention.

Speaking of Bwana, I just got an email from John Brownlee telling me that we “must” nominate a prosecutor or else we’re certain to lose, and it reminded me of a comment Bwana made in my Dave Foster endorsement thread (I took the liberty of making cosmetic changes):

Last six AGs were Bob McDonnell, Jerry Kilgore, Mark Earley, Jim Gilmore, Mary Sue Terry, and Gerald Baliles.

The only one who came to the position of AG from a prosecutor position was Gilmore, and that was an elected position in a populous county [Henrico County].

McDonnell, Earley, Terry, and Baliles came to office from the General Assembly, and that was where the focus of their experience lay, not in the role of a local assistant prosecutor/ Commonwealth’s Attorney.

I believe if you continue the string, you don’t find a Virginia AG who had been the primary prosecutor in any jurisdiction until you get to Albertis Harrison (elected in 1961).

There has been a variety of “experiences” that the VA AG has brought to office, and I suggest the lack of bigtime prosecutorial experience never been an obstacle to winning the office.

As prevalent as the common thread of being a prosecutor is, previous electoral experience is also as common, with only Jerry Kilgore winning the AG spot without it. Kilgore was an assistant U.S. Attorney, but won the election based on his prominence as Director of Public Safety in the Allen Administration. Incidentally, John Brownlee is the only candidate for Attorney General on either side with no prior electoral experience.

Maybe we “must” nominate someone with prior electoral experience for Attorney General?


  • Darrell -- Chesapeake says:

    Ok, you tell me what Ranger unit he was assigned to. What deployments did he make? And no, being an usher at the White House doesn’t count as combat duty.

  • Darrell -- Chesapeake says:

    BTW, I’ve earned the right to my opinion. I’ve been a welcomed participant of those bar room ‘debates’ for forty years now. Brownlee’s patch might get him in the front door, but he would have no chair at the table.

  • Wolverine says:

    All right, as a veteran who DOES have a combat ribbon, let’s knock this stuff off about Brownlee’s military record or even Cooch’s supposed record in the USMC, whatever that was. God knows there are fewer and fewer people around this country of strictly volunteer forces who can claim any sort of military service, especially since the eras of WWII, Korea, and even Vietnam are growing ever more distant. Hats off to all of them.

    And, Darrell , while I understand where you are coming from, why not stop knocking the other guys? If you are a combat veteran, you know as well as I do that there were thousands of other people out there working to help you every step of the way, from the pilot who brought you in-country to the military nurse who cared for you (and me for sure) stateside if you drew the short straw in a combat theater. They all counted, and they were all part of a team…unless you were the only one among us who ran a one-man army.

  • kelley in virginia says:

    i’m just proud to be able to cast my vote on saturday for brownlee: a man who volunteered to wear my country’s uniform.

    i’m beginning to see that this is more impt. in the big view as well.

  • anon says:

    Back to the original point of this thread – the need to nominate someone with prior electoral experience, right? Who’s going to the Gala? The host is, who? Mitt Romney. He won his first election in a statewide race. Just like Brownlee will!

  • anon says:

    Henry McMaster is the Attorney General of South Carolina. Guess what? His first election win was in a statewide race (AG). Guess what he did prior to that? He was a US Atty (in fact, he was the first on appointed by Ronald Reagan). Guess what else??
    He’s endorsed Brownlee.

  • “You make a stronger case for him than he’s making himself”

    Oh Really?
    From John’s own advertisement:
    “I am the only candidate – of either Party – who has run an office of attorneys that is practically identical to the Attorney General’s office”

  • A Voter says:

    I can’t wait to elect Senator Cuccinelli tomorrow! We need a candidate who has a history of standing up for strong Republican principles… rather than someone like Brownlee who professes them only when he’s running for office.

  • anon says:

    I would argue that Brownlee has been walking the Republican walk – serving his country and fighting crime to keep his community safe – and that legislators are the ones who are just talking the talk.
    But we’ll find out tomorrow!

  • Jp in VA says:

    Think I’m going to just go vote for John Brownlee now.

  • I seriously doubt that you’ve got the numbers, Voter. When the dust settles tomorrow, remember that I said that.

  • Zach Kitts says:

    I don’t think experience as an elected official makes you particularly qualified to do anything other than be a lobbyist. I am one of those people that would, in general, prefer to elect someone with less experience who will being in fresh ideas and a new viewpoint.

    If anyone in the Foster camp thinks that they will win Arlington if he gets the nomination, they need to have thier heads examined.

    As for the use of the “prosecutor”, it is inevitable that in politics very big, very important ideas get boiled down into catchphrases–and that is what has happened with the word “prosecutor” in this AG election.

    I am not supporting Brownlee because he is a “prosecutor” or because he served as US Attorney for the W.D.Va. I am supporting Brownlee because he is most talented and accomplished lawyer ever to run for Attorney General.

    I am supporting John Brownlee because he actually wants to be Attorney General of Virginia, and because he has a vision for the office. Check my blog for posts on Brownlee’s numerous groundbreaking cases.

    Legal matters are too dry for most of the general public to take an interest–that is why the word “prosecutor” is a quick short-hand that can be understood by all.

    What we need in the OAG is the most innovative, talented, skilled, and determined lawyer we can possibly find–and that is John Brownlee.

  • “I don’t think experience as an elected official makes you particularly qualified to do anything other than be a lobbyist. I am one of those people that would, in general, prefer to elect someone with less experience who will being in fresh ideas and a new viewpoint.”

    Zach, there are an awful lot of you in the general public who will vote for Brownlee for exactly that reason.

  • Bwana says:

    To reply to the second post above…apparently the name is Cuccinelli. 😉

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