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State House Speaker eyes attorney general position

The new House Speaker, Tom Leonard from DeWitt, wants to bring civility back to the political process in Lansing.

  Michigan’s Speaker of the House has his eye on a new government position for 2019.


Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, announced Thursday he is running for state Attorney General. Leonard is in his third term as a State Representative.


“I have fought for conservative reforms and to hold government accountable,” Leonard said in an announcement video. “No matter who I may have upset.”

In the video, Leonard lists issues he has worked on, including attempts at an income tax rollback and increased transparency in the Legislature.


Speaking with reporters after House Session, Leonard said he fights for his constituents and wants to keep doing that.


“I can think of no better, no person in the state of Michigan that is better positioned to fight for the people of the state than that of the Attorney General,” he said.


Leonard is a former assistant Attorney General and Genesee County prosecutor.


“Certainly it puts me in a position where I’m uniquely qualified,” Leonard said.


Current Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is term limited and running for governor.


Leonard is the second Republican to announce his candidacy. He joins state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker. For the Democrats, defense attorney Dana Nessel and former U.S. Attorney Pat Miles are running.


There isn’t a primary vote for Attorney General. Who the public gets to vote for is decided at each party’s convention next year.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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