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Michigan Attorney General candidate Tom Leonard speaks out

WSBT 22 photo

The election is less than 3 weeks away.

Today, we want to give you a look at one of the candidates running for statewide office in Michigan.

We sat down with Republican Attorney General candidate Tom Leonard.

In the Capitol, he’s the speaker of the house, but Tom Leonard says he is ready to be Michigan’s next attorney general and believes he has the experience to do so.

“We need someone who can hit the ground running day one and I intend to do that,” said Leonard.

Tom Leonard –- an attorney by way of Michigan State University -– has worked as a prosecutor in Flint and as an assistant attorney general.

He says he will work as an A.G. that upholds the constitution.

“This is not a time to politicize this office, it’s not a time to bring instability into that office,” said Leonard. “We need to have a rule of law attorney general that’s going to uphold the laws as passed by the legislature”

With the Flint water crisis likely to carry over to the next administration, Leonard says he will review the investigation and will then move forward.

Lead in the water isn’t the only environmental issue he has taken a stance on -– he believes the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes should remain operational.

“Do we need to do something with Line 5? Absolutely,” said Leonard. “Do we need to hold Enbridge accountable? Absolutely. There needs to be a well thought out plan in place that is going to shut this down or find a way to create a tunnel to protect our Great Lakes without putting our citizens at risk. That I will do.”

As for taking on PFAS contamination in the state, he says Michigan is leading the way, as far as testing goes. Leonard touted the work of the legislature, appropriating $60 million, and says it’s important to find out what state agencies knew and when.

The current speaker wants to create an elder abuse unit, expanding on mental health reform, and he’s not convinced the Medicaid expansion program in Michigan is the most fiscally responsible.

“I felt it was going to be unaffordable and it still may be,” said Leonard.

Leonard says healthcare is a perfect example of how he will approach every situation in Michigan.

“Right now it’s the law of the land, and as I said, as the state’s next attorney general, I will be upholding the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the governor,” said Leonard.

Leonard is putting a lot of emphasis on his previous experience working in the A.G.’s office.

He says he knows how the office works.

We'll hear from his opponent Democrat Dana Nessel tomorrow.

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