Republican Attorney General nominee Sue Hatfield is calling into question State Rep. William Tong’s qualifications to become Connecticut’s next attorney general.
Tong is the Democratic nominee who soundly defeated his two opponents in last week’s primary.
“I know that he has stated that he meets the standard because of an opening argument in federal court,” Hatfield said. “If you look at the statute, it’s active bar in the state of Connecticut, so speaking to my own qualifications I clearly meet the standard.”
Hatfield is making the same claims that came up during the Democratic primary over Tong’s qualifications for the office.
The issue is not a new one for Democrats.
Current nominee for Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz was removed from the ballot in 2010 when the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled she did not meet the requirements for courtroom experience to serve in the office. Attorney General George Jepsen won the nomination.
Hatfield, who attended Stetson University College of Law for her law degree, has been a state prosecutor in the eastern portion of the state since 2005, which she says clears any hurdles preventing her from running for or holding the office.
“I know I’m qualified to run the attorney general’s office. I’ve been a prosecutor in court, in state court, since 2005 so I clearly meet the Bysiewicz standard. No questions asked,” she said.
Tong attended the University of Chicago’s School of Law and even took a class taught by Barack Obama.
He represents Stamford in the Connecticut General Assembly and has been one of the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee for the past few years.
He’s currently an attorney with Finn, Dixon & Herling LLP in Stamford and says he has practiced law with the firm in Connecticut and around the country for 14 years.
In a statement, campaign spokesman Mark Bergman said, “Not only is he qualified but he is ready to stand up for Connecticut families as the next Attorney General because he’s done exactly that over 12 years as a state legislator.”
Bergman added, “We know Sue Hatfield is a big Donald Trump supporter so maybe she also wants to see his long-form birth certificate as well.”
Hatfield was a delegate for Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention but said that support does not define her.
“I will make decisions based on what’s best for the people of Connecticut,” she said.