Democrat Greg Stumbo doesn't mince words when talking about the upcoming November election for Kentucky attorney general.
"This really comes down to qualifications," Stumbo said. "Simply put, my opponent isn't qualified to hold the office."
Stumbo contends his opponent, Daniel Cameron, who won a hotly contested Republican primary election in May for attorney general, lacks the required experience necessary based on the Kentucky Constitution that says a person must have "practiced law" for a minimum of eight years prior to holding the office.
Cameron, a former University of Louisville football player and staff lawyer for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, will have had his law license for eight years in a few short weeks, but Stumbo says to hold a license and to practice law are two entirely separate things.
"We can't find one instance of Cameron having prosecuted a case -- criminal or civil," Stumbo said. "It's a serious
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question and one that needs to be resolved."
Should Cameron win in November, Stumbo said any action he would take as AG would be subject to be overturned.
Stumbo, who was AG from 2004-07, has also served as a state representative and majority speaker from Floyd County. He said he would like to return to Frankfort to "finish what I started with these opioid lawsuits."
As AG, Stumbo said his staff spent three-plus years piecing together a legal theory that would hold up in court to take on Purdue Pharma. Now, he would like to continue the ongoing legal battle that sitting AG and gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear has with other pharmaceutical companies.
"I was the first AG in the nation to do this successfully," he said. "OxyContin was developed as an end-of-life management of pain. For some reason, the DEA approved the drug for chronic pain. Then Purdue Pharma developed a scheme to sell the product when they realized the profits that could be made. I can prove all of that. The legal theory that is the foundation for all these federal cases, I developed, and I'm proud of that."
Stumbo said some good has to come out the opioid crisis that has killed countless Kentuckians.
"It is my hope that we can secure money for Kentucky to setup prevention, treatment and education for those impacted by this crisis," he said. "We can't incarcerate our way out of this. We can lock people up all day, I've done that. But that's not the answer. Treatment and prevention has to be a part of the solution long-term."
Stumbo said he looks at the attorney general office as the "people's attorney." With that in mind, he said he would reopen regional offices across the state, including at least two in western Kentucky to make help more accessible.
Calling himself an "old-fashioned Democrat" Stumbo looks at the AG office as a nonpartisan office in reality.
"We never asked if you were a Republican or Democrat," he said. "This is about what's right and what's wrong, not about right and left."
Stumbo was in Madisonville on Thursday as part of a campaign swing through western Kentucky. He was accompanied by former state senator Jerry Rhoads.