Democrat William Tong, running to become Connecticut’s next attorney general, says defending Connecticut from policies pushed by the Trump administration is one of the most important parts of his campaign.
He says voters are looking for someone to stand up to President Donald Trump.
“They know what Donald Trump is doing in Washington is doing tremendous damage to our families and our communities and so I know Sue Hatfield doesn't want to talk about Donald Trump, she says she wants to talk about Connecticut. This is about Connecticut.”
Tong is making his second attempt at statewide office. He ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 2012, dropping out the primary before Chris Murphy eventually won the vacant seat. Tong, who currently represents Stamford in the General Assembly, also ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Stamford.
He’s looking to replace George Jepsen, Connecticut’s attorney general for the past eight years, who decided not to run for reelection.
Tong says his ideology has much in common with Jepsen, and his predecessor, Richard Blumenthal, saying he will be very public and vocal on issues he’s advocating for, while also working behind the scenes to further causes he supports.
"I've often been asked am I more Blumenthal or am I more Jepsen, and the answer is I'm both, and I'm also my own person."
Tong faces Republican nominee Sue Hatfield in the November general election. Hatfield is a state prosecutor in Pomfret who ran away with the GOP nomination last month.
Hatfield, who’s worked for the state for a year, criticized Tong last month over his qualifications to serve as attorney general, intimating that he may not meet the state’s qualifications for the job.
Similar rumors made their way through Democratic circles in the run up to the primary last month, and Tong beat them back once again. Tong has worked at a corporate law firm in Stamford for more than a decade, working on civil cases and other matters.
"It's just not true and it comes as no surprise that the Republican nominee is making these claims,” Tong said. “She's a Trump delegate and she's adopted a birther-like obsession with my qualifications. There's just no basis to it. I've answered question after question.”
He would not challenge Hatfield’s specific qualifications to hold the office, but did say her legal experience does not put her in a position to run the office of the attorney general on day one.
“Being a prosecutor, that’s just not what the attorney general does and it doesn't prepare you for the job of leading a major state agency of 200 lawyers, investigators and staff and being the state's lawyer."