D.C.’s first elected attorney general is not running for reelection.
Karl Racine — who has served in that role since 2015 — announced his plans in a statement issued Tuesday.
“While this decision was not made lightly, it makes most sense for my family and me right now,” said the 58-year-old Haitian immigrant, who recently has been the subject of speculation about his political plans, including a possible mayoral run. But he told The Washington Post, which first reported his plans, that “elected office, at this point in my life, is not the best fit.”
As D.C.’s attorney general, Racine has focused on, in his words, creating “a more equitable D.C.,” in part by serving vulnerable populations. He’s launched more 50 investigations into “wage theft” by employers, for instance. And he has taken steps to reform D.C.’s juvenile justice system, while seeking to address the root causes in young offenders.
He has also sued a manufacturer of so-called “ghost guns,” as well as both the National Rifle Association and its foundation. And earlier this year, Racine’s office sued former president Donald Trump over alleged violations of the constitution’s emoluments clause, and alleged misuse of money by his inaugural committee.
Last year, Racine announced the formation of a public corruption unit within the Office of Attorney General, aimed at targeting bribery, fraud and campaign finance violations.
“I want to make clear that for the next 15 months of my term as attorney general, I will be working as hard as ever for District residents,” Racine said. “We have so much that we’re working on to stand up for vulnerable D.C. residents, including workers, tenants, and seniors; pushing forward to reform the juvenile justice system; and much more.”
Following the announcement, D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie, who represents Ward 5, praised Racine.
“His work has resulted in helping to create a more just District of Columbia,” he said.