Question: How important is having previous trial experience to the job of attorney general?
I manage an office that handles thousands of critical cases every year. My years trying cases give me the background to do the job. I do not believe someone who has never tried a case can manage a legal operation the size and scope of the attorney general's office.
It's vital that the attorney general have broad experience, including familiarity with the legislative process that affects the law, business management experience that teaches organization and discipline, and litigation management experience dealing with multiple ongoing lawsuits and lawsuit avoidance steps to conserve state resources.
Question: How often do you believe the attorney general should personally argue prominent cases?
The key to my success is not political grandstanding, but ensuring that I hire high-quality lawyers to handle cases. I manage the office, and I ensure that we put attorneys on the job who know the cases and know how to handle them. That's why we've been successful.
I believe that the attorney general should plan to argue and appear regularly in key constitutional cases before the Georgia Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. He is the state's elected lawyer and advocate, and should be zealous and aggressive, not passive and pass-the-buck.
Question: What tools would you ask the General Assembly to provide to help fight government corruption?
I have asked the General Assembly to create a statewide grand jury that would allow the attorney general to prosecute corruption on a statewide basis. Statewide grand juries have been a great success in other states, and it is time for Georgia to create one.
I would ask the General Assembly to authorize and fund a statewide grand jury to enable objective investigations of alleged government corruption. I would also aggressively seek grant funding that's been allocated by the federal government for computer and legal services to support local law enforcement.
Thurbert Baker - D
Residence: Stone Mountain
Political experience: Attorney general for nine years; served nine years in General Assembly
Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; law degree, Emory University
Family: Wife, Catherine; two daughters
Perry McGuire - R
Residence: Douglas County
Political experience: Former state senator
Education: Bachelor's degree in finance, Valdosta State University; law degree, Georgia State University
Family: Wife, Lauren; four children