SEATTLE— Many call the attorney general the second most important position in state government. This year it’s an open seat that has drawn two leading contenders vying be Washington’s top lawyer, Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republican Reagan Dunn.
Both are longtime members of the King County Council.
Ferguson sat down for a wide-ranging interview. It was before last week’s deadly rampage in Seattle, but violent deaths were already spiking.
“We’ve had big challenges with gangs here in King County,” Ferguson said. “I’ve helped lead the effort to give the tools to our prosecuting attorney to address those challenges.”
Ferguson was non-committal when asked if he would support more gun laws in response to the recent violence.
“My job as attorney general is not to change state law,” he said. He did say, however, that if elected he would talk with prosecutors and others to see if any changes “make sense.”
“I’m against it,” said Ferguson. “I understand that and we have budget pressures at the state much like we do at the county, but I don’t think that’s reason enough to support a change that significant.” Ferguson does support the state’s current medical marijuana law.
“I’m a supporter of marriage equality,” he said. Ferguson says he’s held that position ever since he ran for the King County Council back in 2003. “I will be supporting the state legislative action this year,” he said of the upcoming Referendum 74.
Ferguson opposes the lawsuit joined by current Attorney General Rob McKenna that seeks to invalidate the president’s Healthcare Reform Act. “If I’m elected attorney general,” he said, “I pledge that on my first day in office, if that lawsuit is still ongoing in some form, I would withdraw Washington state from that litigation.”
Prior to joining the King County Council, Ferguson was a lawyer in private practice in Seattle.