David Pepper officially announced his candidacy for Ohio Attorney General yesterday, filing paperwork and telling reporters: “Ohioans deserve better.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Since taking over as Attorney General, Mike DeWine has used his position to push his own religious agenda while making mistake after mistake on important legal issues, like assuming witnesses of the Steubenville rape couldn’t be charged with a crime.

In the case of Steubenville, DeWine’s AG’s office actually sent letters to the three most complicit witnesses of the rape, effectively letting them off the hook for prosecution months before the trial even started.  One of the witnesses who received a letter admitted to filming the rapists abusing the victim in the back of his own car, transporting the victim and the rapists to his house, and seeing the rape occurring in his own basement without trying to stop the incident or informing authorities or an adult.

DeWine also used the AG’s office on multiple occasions to promote his religious beliefs,  most recently employing bad legal logic in a letter to the Obama administration to propose exemptions to health care laws that would result in restricted access to contraception for Ohio’s women.  David Pepper slammed DeWine for the decision, saying DeWine’s letter “promotes bad policy, offers up bad law, and shows utter disregard for the rights of women to make their own health decisions.”

With the official announcement out of the way, we hope to see Pepper take off the gloves on other issues as well.

A graduate of Yale Law School, David Pepper has worked at Squire Sanders and Blank Rome, focusing his practice on litigation and appellate litigation.   He also served as President of the Hamilton County Commission and was a member of Cincinnati City Council.DavidPepperPhoto

“I fought for safe streets in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, working hand-in-hand with law enforcement,” said Pepper. “And I have cleaned up wasteful, unethical practices in government to restore integrity and save taxpayer dollars.”

As AG, Pepper promises to “partner with our local police and prosecutors to keep our communities safe, fight for consumers against economic predators, and be an aggressive watchdog against corruption on behalf of taxpayers.”

“The Ohio Attorney General should be above partisan politics,” Pepper said. “It is time to clean up Columbus, and that requires restoring the Ohio Attorney General’s reputation as an advocate and watchdog for us all.”