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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

D.C. Attorney General Race Offers a Tough Choice

From left to right: Candidates Bruce Spiva, Ryan Jones and Brian Schwalb in the 2022 D.C. attorney general race. (Courtesy of the Washington Post)

If you live in D.C., you may have noticed the political yard signs proliferating at every intersection and front yard. Lately, a disproportionate number of signs appear to be centered on D.C.’s attorney general race, which pits several prominent lawyers against each other. The candidates include attorneys Brian Schwalb, Bruce Spiva and Ryan Jones. 

The attorney general election is highly important because the D.C. attorney general is tasked with prosecuting civil and criminal cases on behalf of the district. Indeed, past D.C. attorney general cases include a $750,000 lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and a $31 million case against pharmaceutical companies.

Considering the fact that the race has received little attention, Dateline has briefly profiled each attorney general candidate in order to inform both students and teachers eligible to vote in D.C.’s June 21 election.

Brian Schwalb: The Front Runner

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Brian Schwalb is the partner-in-charge of Venable’s D.C. office and formerly served as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice tax division. Schwalb graduated from Harvard Law School and has worked with nonprofits such as the Abramson Foundation to secure college scholarships for D.C. residents. Schwalb’s stated priorities include enhancing public safety, safeguarding the environment, ensuring businesses play by the rules and fighting for D.C. statehood. Schwalb has been endorsed by the Washington Post and current Attorney General Karl Racine.

Bruce Spiva: The Rival

Bruce Spiva is the former head of Perkins Coi’s D.C. law office. He graduated from Harvard Law School and served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. Spiva notably filed legal briefs on behalf of Black Lives Matter protestors who were tear gassed at Lafayette Square. Spiva’s stated priorities include fighting for fair wages, advocating for housing justice, protecting consumers and fighting for civil rights and D.C. statehood. Spiva recently received criticism for preventing current Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie from running for attorney general. Spiva is also the only candidate not receiving public financing, which has allowed him to contribute $300,000 to his election bid.

Ryan Jones: The Underdog

Ryan Jones is an attorney who formerly served as a judicial fellow for the city of Philadelphia. Jones graduated from George Washington University Law School and has represented a variety of private clients. Jones’s stated priorities include protecting D.C. residents, promoting equity, improving D.C.’s judicial system, ensuring public safety and fighting for D.C. statehood. Jones has been a lower profile candidate than both Schwalb and Spiva.

By Zachary S. Pan

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