DOJ’s second-in-command running for attorney general

LaKresha Roberts

DOVER — Chief Deputy Attorney General LaKresha Roberts said Wednesday she has resigned her position with the Department of Justice to run for attorney general.

“There are problems, like shootings, child abuse and domestic violence, that have plagued our communities for far too long, and others, like the opioid epidemic, that are newer but equally challenging,” Ms. Roberts, 35, said in a statement.

“I have professional and life experiences that will help me to effectively address these issues if I am fortunate enough to be elected. I am a Delaware citizen and parent who has been and will continue to be dedicated to ensuring that we live in safer communities so that citizens can feel secure and our local economy can thrive.”

Ms. Roberts’ announcement comes two days after former state prosecutor Kathy Jennings publicly revealed her candidacy. Both women are Democrats.

Also running are Democrat Tim Mullaney and Republican Tom Neuberger. Mr. Mullaney was chief of staff at the Delaware Department of Justice from 2011 to 2014, while Mr. Neuberger has made a name for himself in private practice with several lawsuits against the state.

Rep. Sean Lynn, a Dover Democrat, is considering a run, and Chris Johnson, Gov. John Carney’s deputy legal counsel, is also said to be contemplating seeking the AG’s office. Mr. Johnson declined to comment.

Attorney General Matt Denn, a Democrat, is not running for a second term. He revealed the decision in August, posting on Facebook that he needed a break from “grueling” politics and aims “to spend more time on work that is going to fundamentally change the lives of kids growing up in our state.”

Rumors began about who would replace him almost immediately.

Ms. Roberts became chief deputy attorney general one year ago after her predecessor moved to the governor’s office. Prior to that, she served as head of the Department of Justice’s Family Division and as a deputy attorney general. She has spent the past eight years with the agency and has prosecuted cases relating to children and families.

The chief deputy attorney general is the department’s No. 2, helping set policy and guide day-to-day operations.

Ms. Roberts said in an interview the state needs leaders who “can offer a fresh perspective” and pledged to provide policy specifics as the election draws nearer.

She pointed to gun violence in Wilmington as the biggest issue that falls under the Department of Justice’s purview. The city is one of the most violent in the country among municipalities of a similar size.

She said she plans to meet with Delawareans to hear their concerns and learn about their interactions with the department.

Lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would reinstate the death penalty — struck down by the Delaware Supreme Court in 2016 — and Ms. Roberts said she would seek it in select cases if the measure passes and she is elected.

“To refuse to use a law that exists is to deny a victim’s family a voice in the process,” she said.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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