By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Thursday that he is running for a second term as the state’s top law enforcement officer.
Marshall, a Republican, made the announcement at a news conference in which he touted his participation in lawsuits against President Joe Biden’s administration and derided “lawlessness across our country with cities set ablaze.”
“I promise you this. The wave of the past will not be the wave of the future. There will be law and order in the state of Alabama. So long as I am this state’s chief law enforcement officer, I will fight for it and I will see that mission through,” Marshall said.
Marshall was appointed to the office in 2017 by then-Gov. Robert Bentley. He won the office in the 2018 election after defeating former Attorney General Troy King in the GOP runoff and Joe Siegelman, the son of former Gov. Don Siegelman in the general election.
Under his direction, Alabama joined lawsuits by Republican-led states in suing the Biden administration over several issues, including a suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water and to reschedule canceled sales of leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Marshall also filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau seeking to block immigrants living in the country illegally from being included in 2020 U.S. Census counts.
“Make no mistake, we are in a fight for the sovereignty of our state and the safety of our citizens. It is a fight that I gladly take on every morning,” Marshall said.
Alabama faces an ongoing lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice over prison conditions. In his brief announcement, Marshall did not give specifics but appeared to criticize sentencing reforms.
“I’m sickened by the repeat offenders that wreak havoc on our cities advanced by policies that have been advocated by members of my own party,” Marshall said.
Under Marshall, the state attorney general’s office has also pursued fines against cities that have taken down Confederate monuments in violation of state law.
Marshall was head of the Republican Attorneys General Association’s Rule of Law Defense Fund when it sent out calls urging “patriots” to come to a Jan. 6 Washington, D.C., rally that led to the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Marshall said in January that he was unaware of “unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard” to the rally.
Marshall’s wife Bridgette died by suicide in 2018. As reporters inquired about the details of her death, Marshall gave an emotionally raw news conference describing his wife’s deeply personal struggles with depression and anxiety. During the announcement Thursday, Marshall recalled her words at his 2018 campaign kickoff that he “says what he means and means what he says.”