As the race for attorney general picks up before the November election, current Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has endorsed Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel to replace him in the position, according to a statement from the Schimel campaign.

Schimel, the only Republican candidate in the attorney general race, will run against Democratic candidates Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee.

“The dangers confronting families are very real. Heroin is infecting our communities, new technologies have become new methods to prey upon our children and consumers are under constant attack by predators bent on making an unlawful buck,” Attorney General Van Hollen said in a statement from the Schimel campaign. “Public safety and the rule of law will be Brad Schimel’s first and only commitment.”

Van Hollen was unavailable for comment on the endorsement.

John Koremenos, a spokesperson for the Schimel campaign, said Schimel plans on continuing and expanding Van Hollen’s work against heroin and opiate abuse, if elected.

“Brad wants to continue the positive relationship the Department of Justice has had with law enforcement,” Koremenos said.

Schimel’s major focus will be on combating heroin and opiate abuse, as Waukesha County has experienced more deaths from opiate overdose than from traffic accidents, Koremenos said.

Koremenos added Schimel would continue to provide resources to local law enforcement including sheriffs, district attorneys, police chiefs, etc.

“I think it should be noted that Brad is a different individual than J.B. Van Hollen,” Koremenos said. “But there is no doubt J.B. has been a partner to law enforcement and has made public safety a focus, and Brad hopes to continue that focus.”