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Legal Qualifications Central in AG Debate Between Brnovich and Rotellini

Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

The candidates for attorney general spent most of the half-hour debate Tuesday night openly deriding each other’s experience and saying the other is not qualified for the job. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer was there.

Credit Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer
Republican candidate for attorney general Mark Brnovich

Republican Mark Brnovich pointed out that Democrat Felecia Rotellini never has taken a criminal case to trial.

“When we’re going toe-to-toe with the cartels that are smuggling drugs and people into this country, do you want someone who needs on-the-job training? Or do you want someone who stood there in the courtroom and faced them down and won those convictions?” Brnovich said.

Rotellini acknowledged Brnovich’s experience as a federal prosecutor. But, she said criminal cases in Arizona are pretty much handled by county attorneys, with the duties of the AG’s office more in line with her background of finance.

“What he doesn’t want to touch is the fact he’s never prosecuted financial fraud. He’s never returned money to victims of fraud. He’s never shut down scammers,” Rotellini said.

She blasted him for having lobbied for Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison firm that houses not only Arizona inmates in the state but criminals from elsewhere. He countered that if she’s so concerned about private prisons she should not have taken donations from CCA board members. And, when she charged he would use the office to support his anti-abortion views, he responded that his job will be solely to defend the laws the Legislature passes.

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