State Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35) announced his candidacy for Rhode Island Attorney General Tuesday morning at the State House, with the theme, "Stand Up for Rhode Island."
The first person to declare a run for the office, Hodgson would potentially face acting Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin, a democrat who has held the office since 2011.
"As a prosecutor, now as a state senator, and as your next attorney general, my vision of leadership means putting the people first, and doing them justice in all civil, criminal and policy matters before the office," Hodgson said.
He cited his push for an independent investigation on the 38 Studios deal, which left the state on the hook for $75 million in loan guarantees when the company, owned by baseball legend Curt Shilling, folded in 2012. He also questioned why Kilmartin didn't use the tools at his disposal to investigate the deal.
"I spent the better part of a year assuming that there was an investigative grand jury and the attorney general was appropriately not commenting," Hodgson said. "I have to say I was floored when I found out that wasn't true."
He decried Kilmartin's lack of action on the release of "Thrill Killer" Alfred Brissette in November.
"There's no excuse for not submitting an objection to his release after serving just 14 years," said Hodgson. "When I'm attorney general, my office will review parole applications of violent offenders and file an objection when it's appropriate, as it was here."
Hodgson also questioned Kilmartin's decision to keep in-house the legal work on the pension reform lawsuit.
"When [Kilmartin] was a state legislator, he refused to even take a vote on a modest pension reform, saying he needed to take an ethical stance because it would impact his wife's and brother's pensions," Hodgson said. "Now apparently, the conflict is gone and he has broken with past practice of that office and retained control of the litigation.
"I believe that Rhode Islanders would be more secure if a pension reformer was defending pension reform," he said.
Hodgson, 35, worked as a state prosecutor from 2005-10. He was elected to the Rhode Island Senate in 2011 and represents parts of North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett and a small section of South Kingstown.
He is a native of North Kingstown and lives on the same turf farm, Sod Co., where he grew up. He is married to Megan and has two young sons. He operates a small legal practice.