Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 28, 2013, 8:30pm

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) -- Felecia Rotellini, who challenged current Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne back in 2010, announced this week she again is running for the office.

Rotellini, a Democrat, said in a statement on her campaign website that she intends to return the focus of the state's top law enforcement office to "fighting crime and protecting Arizona consumers and small businesses."

A former superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, she worked for 17 years as an assistant attorney general and agency head under both Republican and Democrat governors and attorneys general.

"I want to make Arizona safer for families, children and law-abiding businesses," Rotellini said Monday.

"We need new direction in the Attorney General's Office -- a top law enforcement officer committed to rising above partisan politics. We need an attorney general to fight criminals whether they carry a gun or a pen, human smugglers and traffickers, those who don't play by the rules, and scammers who defraud our seniors."

She continued, "The attorney general should be an independent watchdog, not a career politician that promotes himself or is accused of violating laws he is supposed to enforce. The circus act has to stop; we must restore integrity back into the Attorney General's Office."

Among the issues Rotellini says will form the "crux" of her campaign: cracking down on consumer fraud and elder abuse; prosecuting securities and investment fraud; and advocating for Arizona's children on a host of issues, including education, health care and domestic violence.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik called Rotellini the "right candidate" for Arizona in 2014.

"In 2010, Felecia won more votes than any Democrat on the ballot. Her no-nonsense message and prosecutor's bona fides mark her as the real deal -- an attorney general who will go after criminals with the integrity Arizona voters expect from the state's top prosecutor," he said in a statement.

In 2010, Rotellini lost a close race to Horne, a Republican.

The attorney general has been under investigation for allegations that he worked with an independent expenditure committee to run ads against his 2010 Democratic opponent -- which is not permitted under Arizona law.

Horne has denied being involved with Business Leaders for Arizona, or BLA, an independent expenditure committee that raised and spent $500,000 to run television advertisements attacking Rotellini.

"This race is about who will be the best independent watchdog for Arizona. That's why I feel confident. And I'm looking forward to getting to work," Rotellini said this week.

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