Five men are vying for the job as Arizona's top lawyer. One Democrat, Terry Goddard; one Libertarian, Ed Kahn; and three Republicans, John Greene, Foster Robberson and Andrew Thomas.
As the state's chief legal officer, the Attorney General's duties include serving as legal advisor for most state agencies, bringing and defending law suits on behalf of the state, enforcing criminal, election, environmental, civil rights and consumer protection laws, and serving as Director of the Department of Law. The Attorney General also issues formal legal opinions for state officers, legislators and county attorneys upon request.
The Attorney General is second in the constitutional line of succession if the Governor leaves office in mid-term.
The Attorney General's term is for four years.
Party affiliation: Democrat
Years in Arizona: 55
Born in Arizona, Terry Goddard has built his career combining a commitment to the law with a passion for building successful communities.
A graduate of Harvard College and ASU College of Law, Goddard was elected mayor of Phoenix in 1983 and served until 1990.
Under his leadership, Phoenix made significant strides in increasing citizen participation, fighting back against crime, improving transportation, revitalizing downtown, providing for quality growth, and setting up nationally recognized programs in arts, culture and historic preservation.
Goddard began working at the Arizona Attorney General's Office in the criminal and anti-trust divisions while still a law student. After admission to the Arizona Bar in 1976, he became an assistant attorney general. As a criminal prosecutor in the special prosecutions section, he was part of the team that convicted the principal officers of Lincoln Thrift.
After his terms as mayor, Goddard worked at the international firm of Bryan Cave. For the past six years, he served as state director of the Arizona office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development working to promote affordable housing and curb housing discrimination.
Goddard believes a fundamental obligation of the attorney general is to fight for all the people of Arizona regardless of their socioeconomic position or the political clout of the opposition.
"Attorneys general from both political parties have been willing to take on entire industries or powerful corporations when the situation warranted," Goddard said. "As attorney general I will be the 'people's lawyer', someone who stands up for all Arizona citizens, especially those who would not otherwise have access to legal redress. The A.G. provides the first line of defense for Arizona families and communities, especially for our children and seniors, against predators, whether they are drug dealers, environmental polluters or corporate manipulators defrauding depositors."
Goddard is married to Monica Lee. They have a son, Kevin, who is three years old. For more information, call (602) 256-2211 or go to terrygoddard.org.
Party affiliation: Republican
Years in Arizona: 23
A past president of the state Senate and former director of the Arizona Department of Insurance, Republican attorney general candidate John Greene pledges to fight hard to protect consumers, seniors and children if elected.
Recipient of the Arizona Bar Foundation's highest Pro Bono Award for "extraordinary contributions in making legal services available to persons who could not afford them," Greene says he is particularly attuned to the needs of common people.
"I understand that laws have a profound impact on the everyday lives of people. As Attorney General, I will protect Arizona's greatest asset its people both young and old. I will be the bad guys' worst nightmare."
Among the issues Greene believes need to be addressed by the next attorney general:
"It is time we got serious about preventing or reducing the financial exploitation of our seniors so that another Baptist Foundation fiasco, where hundreds of Arizonans lost their life savings, does not reoccur. Prosecuting the wrongdoers after the fact is simply not enough."
"Our state grand jury has remained virtually dormant over the last 10 years while organized crime and public corruption have gained a foothold in Arizona and we have become, among other things, the car-theft capital of the U.S."
"School violence, gangs and drugs endanger our children and we are not doing enough about it. The recent death of another young child under the supervision of Child Protective Services is simply unacceptable. There are things that can be done to help prevent another needless death."
"Your Attorney General should be more involved with the illegal-alien problem, which includes voter registration fraud, even though it is primarily covered by federal law."
Greene, who is married with two children, can be reached at (602) 264-3000. His website is arizonansforgreene.com.
Party affiliation: Libertarian
Years in Arizona: 34
Ed Kahn, who has journalism and law degrees from Fordham College, believes that "government like fire is a dangerous servant and must be watched constantly so it does not get out of control."
If elected the first Libertarian attorney general, Kahn promises to "watch Arizona government like a hawk. I will appoint an inspector general to help me in my sworn duty to support Arizona's constitution and laws and represent state agencies, and, even more importantly, protect ... the citizens of Arizona from government abuse and neglect," he said.
Before moving to Arizona in 1966, Kahn worked in New York state doing publicity for such diverse items as New York State Wines, bowling alleys and modern bathtubs. He also worked as assistant editor for the American Gas Association Journal.
Kahn moved to Window Rock to begin his law career as an attorney for the Navajo tribe. In 1969, Kahn moved to Tucson, and since then he has been practicing law specializing in insurance subrogation, civil trials and constitutional law.
Kahn says his lifelong interest in the constitution led him to organize the Arizona Constitutional Rights Union as a moderate alternative to the left-wing extremist American Civil Liberties Union.
Kahn is married to Kathleen and has three children. He can be reached at (520) 326-3550.
Party affiliation: Republican
Years in Arizona: 23 years
Robberson says he is the most qualified person for Attorney General, with 23 years of representing real people throughout Arizona.
Serving as a Superior Court judge pro tem, he says he is the only candidate with judicial experience.
Robberson's plans for the office include expanding rights for innocent crime victims; protecting consumers, particularly seniors; tough criminal law enforcement; and improving the professionalism of the Attorney General's office.
Robberson also proposes to put the lid on school violence; support the jury system; prepare for homeland security emergencies; and advance a better border policy.
He has said there should be a death penalty in appropriate cases.
"Some crimes and criminals require society's ultimate sanction," he said.
To that end, Robberson proposes providing more support to rural communities when they are prosecuting major felony cases, but also make better use of technology and resources to assure that only the guilty are convicted.
Robberson also supports Second Amendment rights, with gun owner responsibility.
Party affiliation: Republican
Years in Arizona: 11 years
Thomas says he is the only candidate who is an experienced law-enforcement professional.
He has served as an Assistant Attorney General, the Governor's justice policy advisor and chief attorney at the Department of Corrections.
He wants to make Arizona the safest state in the nation for children and keep judges and politicians from nullifying public votes.
Thomas has served as the lobbyist for Arizona Right to Life and has maintained a civil litigation practice.
Thomas proposes to put child molesters in prison, not in neighborhoods. He wants child molesters sentenced to life without parole and abolish plea bargaining in child-molestation cases.
He says he strongly supports the death penalty and the Second Amendment.