CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
In candidate forums and press releases during the campaign for Attorney General, Democratic candidate Jim Priest has stressed his courtroom experience, slamming Republican Scott Pruitt for not having experience in arguing cases before juries.
Last week, the Oklahoma County Bar Association hosted a candidate forum that both men attended. Priest touted his trial experience as an attorney and spoke of the issues facing Oklahoma’s next Attorney General -- including meth drug use, prescription drug abuse, water pollution and water litigation and incarceration rates -- and how he would combat these issues facing Oklahomans.
Priest believes Pruitt’s main concern is not issues in Oklahoma but an “office of federalism.” Priest said the effort would merely tie up time and tax dollars in suing the federal government. Priest asserted his experience makes him “significantly” more qualified than Pruitt.
“I’ve been doing it for 30 years.” Priest said. “The Attorney General may not be in court every day, but the Attorney General needs to have been in court. I’ve tried nearly 100 lawsuits -- I don’t think Mr. Pruitt’s ever tried one. I’ve argued in the 10th Circuit and other appellate courts -- Mr. Pruitt’s never argued in appellate court. I’m admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Pruitt is not admitted to the U..S Supreme Court. You need a lawyer to be Attorney General.”
In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Priest pressed his case of qualifications as his strong suit in the electoral battle with Pruitt: “Hire the person that you would hire to be your lawyer representing your family’s interests, a person with qualifications, a person who’s been in the courtroom, a person who doesn’t bring a political agenda but who brings an agenda to serve the people by being the best lawyer for the people.”