Chittenden Prosecutor Announces Bid For AG

03/19/12 5:50PM By Ross Sneyd

(Host) Vermont Democrats face a primary in the race for attorney general.

Incumbent Bill Sorrell plans to seek re-election. And Chittenden County State's Attorney T-J Donovan, a fellow Democrat, will challenge him.

Donovan doesn't directly criticize Sorrell. But Donovan says he believes it's time for a change.

(Donovan) "I believe it's time for new ideas, new energy and greater engagement from the office of attorney general. I'm going to be an advocate, not only in the legislature but for all Vermonters for the right to clean and reliable energy, affordable health care and safer communities."

(Host) Donovan says his top priority as attorney general would be fighting prescription drug abuse.

Sorrell has been criticized because his office has lost a handful of big cases in federal court.

Most recently, a federal court in Brattleboro threw out a state law that could have blocked Vermont Yankee's continued operation. That's being appealed.

He's also lost cases before the U-S Supreme Court, including challenges to Vermont's campaign finance law and its regulations of prescription drug marketing.

Sorrell defends his office.

(Sorrell) "Defending progressive legislation before the most conservative U.S. Supreme Court in the last 100 years, it's a tall order and we couldn't convince Justice Scalia, Chief Justice Roberts, some of the others that what we had done was legal."

(Host) Sorrell says his office has also successfully defended the state in a number of challenges to state laws, including one governing mercury and another governing automobile efficiency.

Sorrell is Vermont's longest-serving attorney general. He was appointed to office in 1997 by then-Governor Howard Dean to fill a vacancy.

Donovan is in the middle of his second term as prosecutor in Vermont's most populous county.

 

 

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