State Sen. Josh Stein is the only candidate running for attorney general who’s worked in the office before.
“While running the Consumer Protection Division, I realized how the office has a unique ability to help people,” he said. “The idea of serving the people of North Carolina in that role is really exciting to me.”
Stein is getting his shot at the job now that his former boss, current attorney Roy Cooper, is running for governor instead of seeking another term. Stein faces fellow Democrat Marcus Williams in the primary, with the winner taking on the Republican nominee in November.
“I’ll crack down on violent crime, protect consumers from fraud, and hold corporate polluters accountable to clean our air and water,” Stein said.
While working at the Department of Justice from 2001 to 2008, Stein says he took on payday lenders who “were charging interest rates akin to loan sharks.”
“Those companies are not hurting North Carolina families any longer,” he added.
In the Senate, Stein touts his work on bills that expanded the state’s DNA database of violent criminals, strengthened DWI laws and improved domestic violence protections.
He says legislators are wrong to spend millions on outside attorneys to defend controversial laws instead of leaving the job to the attorney general’s office. “The fact that I have policy views does not affect the ability of the professionals to do their duty and defend the state,” he said.
Stein says his GOP opponents want the post for the wrong reasons. “Both of the Republicans are running to fight against the president of the United States and make the office another front in the nasty partisan political wars that are ruining our politics,” he said.
Education: Law degree from Harvard University, master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth University
Family: Married to Anna Stein with three children
Job: Attorney in the firm Smith Moore Leatherwood; former N.C. senior deputy attorney general under Roy Cooper
Politics: State senator representing Wake County since 2009
Worth knowing: Stein spent two years teaching in Zimbabwe after college