DC attorney general candidates face off in forum

D.C. attorney general hopefuls gathered at George Washington University on Tuesday night to discuss issues facing District residents.

Brian Schwalb, who’s endorsed by current D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, focused on public safety.



“The No. 1 priority for every elected official, the attorney general and anyone else, is to have to lean into the fact that when people don’t feel safe, our city can’t thrive,” Schwalb said.

Ryan Jones said he wants to create “equal access to justice” in D.C.

“I know that the courtrooms play an important role in creating equality in our laws, and how we guide our lives for functional society,” Jones said. “I want the system to live up to the promises made. And I want to be the person that executes on that.”

Bruce Spiva, who brought the challenge to Ward 5 Council Member Kenyan McDuffie’s candidacy, said many challenges in D.C. come down to dealing with “root causes” like “economic instability, lack of educational opportunity, housing instability.”

“Washington is a tale of two cities,” Spiva said. “And to extend the analogy, it’s the best of times if you live in the charming streets of Georgetown, or Wesley Heights, but it’s the worst of times in many places in our city, where people have housing instability, where they suffer from environmental injustice.”

GWU and the League of Women Voters hosted the forum. Watch it on Facebook.

McDuffie is seeking to overturn a decision by D.C.’s Board of Elections that took him off the June 21 ballot, wasn’t in attendance.

The D.C. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from McDuffie on Wednesday morning to decide if he’s eligible to run for attorney general.

WTOP’s Matt Small contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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