BELLEVUE, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Former federal prosecutor Reagan Dunn announced Tuesday he will run for Washington attorney general in 2012.
Dunn, a current King County council member, former U.S. Justice Department official and assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle, is looking to succeed Rob McKenna, a two-term Republican attorney general who recently announced his campaign for governor.
"I am running for attorney general because I am concerned about the overall direction of Washington State government and I believe we can do much better," he said in a statement.
"While Rob McKenna has done a very fine job as our AG, much more still needs to be done. Our state faces significant challenges, including high unemployment, an unfavorable business climate for job creation, and crime levels that are unacceptable."
McKenna launched his campaign for governor last week, promising voters a "new direction" for the state.
Dunn has already received the current attorney general's endorsement, along with those of former Attorney General Ken Eikenberry and five former U.S. attorneys -- Mike McKay, Jim McDevitt, Bill Hyslop, Jeff Sullivan and John McKay.
"Reagan Dunn brings the right balance of criminal and civil legal experience that our state needs in an attorney general," McKenna said in a statement. "His service as a federal prosecutor, work in private practice and experience as a regional leader on the King County Council make him the top candidate to be our next attorney general, and I strongly endorse him."
Dunn seems to be following in McKenna's footsteps -- first being appointed in 2005 to replace him on the King County Council and now a run for the Attorney General's Office.
Before his appointment to the council, Dunn had a self-described distinguished career in the U.S. Department of Justice. As a special assistant U.S. attorney in both the Southern District of Florida and the District of Columbia, he prosecuted narcotics cases and other street crimes.
He then joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle as an assistant U.S. attorney in the General Crimes Unit, prosecuting a variety of crimes including narcotics manufacturing, child pornography, Internet crimes and bank fraud.
Dunn was then promoted to the Terrorism and Violent Crime Unit. As a member of this elite team of prosecutors, Dunn's chief duties included the investigation and prosecution of federal weapons violations. He also served as the coordinator of the Firearm Crime Enforcement Coalition of Western Washington, a multi-agency law enforcement effort that seeks to reduce gun-related violent crime.
"As a former federal prosecutor, I have prosecuted cases in many different parts of the country and worked on a broad variety of issues. This experience will help me support local prosecutors and sheriffs by providing them with the tools they need to keep our communities and neighborhoods safe," he said in a statement.
"The attorney general needs to be both the people's lawyer and Washington State's top law enforcement official. Having worked as a federal prosecutor, a lawyer in the private practice of civil law, and as an elected official, I will bring my experience to bear to benefit all of our communities in Washington State."
Dunn said his campaign has raised more than $100,000 in just two weeks.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at email@example.com.