Former U.S. Attorney enters Ore. AG race

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 12, 2012, 9:54am


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - A former U.S. Attorney announced Wednesday that he is running for Oregon attorney general.

Dwight Holton, a Democrat, was expected to make a run for the office after resigning from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon earlier this month, The Oregonian reported.

On his campaign website, Holton touts his track record of "leadership, experience and results."

"In 15 years as a prosecutor, I fought hard for what I believed in: safety and security for our communities, and the highest level of ethics and accountability from our public officials," he said.

"And that's what you can expect from me as your attorney general -- someone who will fight hard every day to deliver justice for Oregonians."

During his tenure, Holton managed an agency of 115 people in offices statewide with an $11 million annual budget, and led a team that filed, investigated, prosecuted and litigated 600 to 700 criminal cases each year.

According to his website, he also managed civil litigation efforts on behalf of the U.S. in Oregon, with more than 800 cases filed annually.

Holton is a 1996 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.

Right after school, he went to work for the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. Attorney.

His father, Abner Lindwood Holton Jr., was the 61st governor of Virginia, serving from 1970 to 1974.

Holton is just the second person to join the race.

Last week, former appeals court judge Ellen Rosenblum announced she, too, is seeking the job of Oregon's top lawyer.

Rosenblum, also a Democrat, practiced law for 14 years, including eight years as a federal prosecutor. She also has 22 years of experience as both an appellate and trial judge.

Current Attorney General John Kroger said in October he would not seek another term, citing an unspecified illness.

Kroger was elected attorney general in 2008 after winning the nominations of both Democratic and Republican parties. The GOP did not have a candidate of its own that year.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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