Candidate Profile: Luther Strange for Attorney General

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You may remember hearing the name Luther Strange four years ago when he ran for Lt. Governor. Now "Big Luther," as he's called, has his eyes set on the attorney general's office.

At 6'9" tall, it's no surprise Luther Strange played basketball in school. But it's the law degree he received that he's most proud of. Strange's firm has handled everything from criminal cases to economic development.

In fact, Strange represented Hyundai in the negotiations that brought the car company to Montgomery.

"The office of attorney general is a huge player in the economic development climate of the state," Strange said. "If people don't think this is a good climate to start a business, they won't come here. And that depends on how they perceive our legal climate."

And Alabama's legal climate is in jeopardy, according to Strange, because of perceived corruption in the attorney general's office.

Strange claims conflicts of interest have kept incumbent Troy King from enforcing the law. He says the recent bingo battle is a prime example.

"I don't think the governor should have had to form a task force in the first place to enforce the law. That's the job of the attorney general," Strange explained. "Whether the issue is complicated or you have friends on one side of the issue or the other is really irrelevant. It has to do with who's going to enforce the law."

Strange claims King has taken contributions from gambling interests, something King denies. Strange told us he is personally opposed to gambling, but would still enforce a law that allowed it.

When asked about the climate of Washington, D.C., Strange accused congress and the Obama administration of overstepping its authority with acts like health care reform. He says he would work to protect Alabama's constitutional rights.

Strange also disputes claims that he's a Washington insider or career lobbyist.

"Part of your duty when you represent large companies like Hyundai or smaller businesses when you go to Washington is to register as a lobbyist," he explained. "I was happy to do that. That's part of the law."

Strange boasts endorsements from U.S. Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, who is a former attorney general in Alabama.

And the state's district attorneys -- who have had a strained relationship with Troy King -- are also backing the Strange campaign.

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