After Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced he will not be seeking a third term, Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said she would consider running for the position.
Because of the unanticipated nature of Van Hollen’s announcement, Taylor said in an interview with The Badger Herald she has not had time to fully consider the possibility of running for the position and has not released an official statement, however she added the position would give her a great opportunity to do good things for the state.
Although Van Hollen said in a statement he believes he “restored integrity in multiple ways” while in office citing his focus on the law and not politics, Taylor said Van Hollen has contributed to the politicization of the Attorney General’s office with poor political decisions.
“I am happy Van Hollen is not running again, I’d like to see the office of Attorney General depolarized again,” Taylor said.
In the statement, Van Hollen said he was proud of his achievements as attorney general, highlighting his work eliminating the backlog of DNA testing in Wisconsin state crime labs.
He added the attorney general’s office should not be held by the same person for a long time.
“I believe no person should be Attorney General for life, or for too long,” Van Hollen said. “Our democracy requires a balance of experience and fresh views. For my family, for me and this office, it’s time to give Wisconsin voters new choices.”
Last month, Van Hollen introduced a media campaign to combat heroin use statewide and educate teens on the hazards of the drug.
Van Hollen recently came under fire from newspapers and residents statewide after lending support to Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, when she was sued by a Madison-based investigative group, the Center for Media and Democracy over an open records request.
The group filed suit against Vukmir in June for violating public records law, but Van Hollen said under Wisconsin law, it is not possible to sue Vukmir while she is in office.
The Center for Media and Democracy filed a brief Oct.1 countering Van Hollen’s statements on the legality of the lawsuit.
Brad Courtney, chairman for Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement he was grateful to Van Hollen for his work as attorney general, and added Wisconsin is now a safer place due to his contributions in the office.
“By putting public safety at the forefront, he has focused on helping victims of crime and protecting our children, reducing the backlog in crime laboratories and committing to assist local law enforcement,” he said.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice declined to comment on the announcement. The Wisconsin Republican Party did not respond for comment.