GREENSBORO, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Sen. Josh Stein is running for state attorney general.

Stein, a Democrat, made the announcement last week. He is the first Democrat to officially announce.

“The people of North Carolina deserve an attorney general who is experienced and independent,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page. “My touchstone as attorney general will remain what it has always been -- what is in the best interest of the people of North Carolina.”

From 2001 to 2008, Stein served as senior deputy attorney general for consumer protection.

He is looking to take over for his former boss, current Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running for governor.

Since 2009, Stein has served in the state Senate. He currently serves on a number of committees, including the judiciary panel.

According to his campaign website, he also works as a lawyer with the law firm Smith Moore Leatherwood LLC, representing the monitor of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement.

GOP state Sen. Buck Newton, who announced his candidacy in June, already had some fighting words for his potential Democratic opponent.

“Josh Stein is a typical liberal politician who would seek to continue this disturbing trend of letting Washington decide what is best for North Carolina,” Newton said in an email, sent out in response to Stein’s announcement.

“If elected as attorney general, Roy Cooper’s favorite son would continue to champion big government while ignoring the Constitution, individual liberties and the people of North Carolina.”

The North Carolina Republican Party also slammed Stein in a statement.

“Stein is a self-proclaimed progressive who brags about being John Edwards’ first hire and campaign manager when he ran for U.S. Senate,” the party said. “And as senior deputy attorney general for Roy Cooper and Mike Easley, Josh Stein was a part of a culture of incompetence and injustice that put politics above the best interests of North Carolina.

“It’s no wonder Senator Stein would now like to succeed his former boss to continue his legacy of incompetence and bring North Carolina backwards.”

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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