Hodges gets bipartisan DAs to speak up for him

Hodges (left) and Olen

ATLANTA -- A bipartisan group of district attorneys offered personal endorsements Monday for Democrat Ken Hodges’ election as attorney general, but his Republican opponent, Sam Olens, said the endorsements just reflect professional contacts.

Hodges, the district attorney in Albany for 12 years, rose to head both the District Attorneys Association and the Prosecuting Attorneys Council and now counts 30 of the 49 district attorneys in the state as backing him.

Six of them attended a press conference outside the Capitol to talk about Hodges, who said they were supporting him because he had been one of them.

“We want someone who’s battle-tested,” said Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard, Democrat. “I don’t want someone who just showed up as a prosecutor but someone like Ken who was a good one.”

But asked if there were deficiencies with the current attorney general, Thurbert Baker, or his predecessor, Mike Bowers, who had not been prosecutors before being appointed, Coweta Circuit District Attorney Pete Skandalakis  brushed the question aside.

“This is not about Thurbert Baker. He’s been an excellent attorney general,” said Skandalakis, a Republican.

Rome DA Leigh Patterson noted that the attorney general’s office handles death-penalty appeals for every DA in the state.

“I want someone in there who’s dealt with a victim’s family,” she said.

Why cross party lines to back Hodges?

“In our job as district attorney, the party label is meaningless to us,” said Kermit McManus of the Conasauga Circuit. “It is a non-issue for us.”

Olens said it makes sense for Hodges to have support from colleagues he’s worked with for years. Olens, the former Cobb County Commission chairman, has endorsements of his own from city and county officials from across the state.

“While Ken is spending time on endorsements, I am on the right side of the issues, such as fighting ObamaCare and supporting stronger ethics and immigration laws,” he said.

 

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