Jessica M. Karmasek Jun. 2, 2015, 1:45pm



RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - GOP state Sen. Buck Newton announced Monday he is running for North Carolina attorney general in 2016.




 




Newton, who represents Wilson and Nash counties, is the first Republican to enter the race to become the state’s next top lawyer. Current Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to run for governor.




Newton, who practices law at his firm, Newton and Lee PLLC, in Wilson, N.C., was first elected to the state Senate in 2010.




 




During a press conference to announce his candidacy, Newton said he’s been “rather frustrated with some of the shortcomings” in Cooper’s office.




 




“The role of a legislator is very different from the role of attorney general,” he said, according to The News & Observer.




 




“There are laws that we have passed that I may not agree with but are perfectly legal or perfectly valid and deserve to be defended if they’re challenged in court.”




 




A native of Wilson, Newton graduated from Hunt High School before attending Appalachian State University, earning his undergraduate degree in political science. He earned his law degree from Campbell University.




 




From 2007 to 2011 -- before taking office -- he served as the chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party.




 




He currently chairs the Senate’s Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations Committee on Justice and Public Safety.




 




According to The News & Observer, two Democrats, state Sen. Josh Stein and Fayette lawyer Tim Dunn, also are considering a run for the office.




 




However, they likely won’t announce their intentions until Cooper makes his decision public, the newspaper reported.




 




From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.


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