John Kroger (D)
SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-John Kroger is all but guaranteed a win tonight, becoming Oregon's next attorney general.
Kroger, a law school professor and former federal prosecutor who handily beat out a veteran state lawmaker to succeed Attorney General Hardy Myers, has no Republican challenger.
Kroger faces a challenge only from a handful of minor party candidates, including Constitution Party nominee James Leuenberger, who previously ran for a seat on the Oregon Supreme Court and for a seat on the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland.
Also vying to be Oregon attorney general are J. Ashlee Albies of the Working Families Party and Walter F. Brown of the Pacific Green Party.
Throughout his campaign, Kroger has touted his law enforcement bona fides as a former federal prosecutor, vowing to pursue corporate scofflaws, environmental polluters, drug dealers and flimflam artists.
"We have been very, very specific about our priorities from the first day of the campaign," Kroger told Legal Newsline after he won the Democratic primary. "The things we ran on are the things that we intend to do."
Kroger's candidacy was not initially backed by the Beaver State's Democratic heavyweights, including Myers and Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
However, during the Democratic primary, Kroger won heavy union support, partly driven by unions' disdain for Kroger's opponent, chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee Greg Macpherson.
Union leaders blame Macpherson for a 2003 plan that overhauled the state's Public Employees Retirement System that ultimately reduced benefits to state workers.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.