Attorney general candidate Paul Zukerberg fought the legal battle that prevented the D.C. Council from moving the attorney general election to 2018, and he’s been reaping the results ever since. The only public poll on the race so far found Zukerberg leading his four rivals.
Zukerberg opponent Lorie Masters, though, wants some of the credit for the District’s first attorney general election, too. In a press release this afternoon, which you can read in full below, Masters writes that she’s going to “set the record straight” about an unnamed candidate’s attempts to claim credit for the election taking place.
“Obviously, the person we’re talking about is Paul Zukerberg,” Masters spokeswoman Allison Abney tells LL. “We’re tired of him pretending like he’s the only one who’s been working on getting the attorney general on the ballot and working for D.C. statehood.”
Masters’ press release signals a new aggression from her campaign. So far, the attorney general’s race has been more cordial than other November contests, with most conflict coming from rival candidates Karl Racine and Edward “Smitty” Smith.
Masters’ press release favorably compares her own work on the boards of DC Vote and the DC Appleseed think tank, both supporters of electing an attorney general, with Zukerberg’s involvement in the issue only after the Council voted to delay the election.
“If somebody’s going to say that they’re the only person who’s been working on that, it’s just not true,” Abney says. “And frankly, Lorie’s been working on it longer.”
Asked about Masters’ press release, Zukerberg says none of his four opponents, including Masters, helped him as he filed lawsuits and appeals to keep the race in 2014.
“I guess they’re entitled to their opinion,” Zukerberg says.
Masters’ press release:
I’d like to set the record straight about one of my opponent’s statements on his role in making this attorney general election a reality. The truth is, I’ve been involved with the attorney general election every step of the way and I’ve been active in the statehood movement for the past ten years. I was part of the committees that devised the strategies, which eventually became the referendums on electing an attorney general and on budget autonomy, both of which were overwhelmingly passed by voters. I was also part of the effort that secured pro bono attorneys to help fight to get the attorney general election back on the ballot after the Council decided to delay it.
One of my opponents gives the impression that he’s the only person to make a serious contribution to the effort to create the elected attorney general’s office. However, he only got involved with this attorney general election after the Council made plain its position to delay. I was there from day one. I’m the only candidate for attorney general involved in the effort to pass the Budget Autonomy Act, and the only one to file two briefs in support of that Act. No one else in this race has fought as hard as I have for DC statehood.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery