Edward Smith to Run for D.C. Attorney General
James Wright | 7/13/2014, 3:29 p.m.
Edward "Smitty" Smith is merely the latest to formally make a bid in the inaugural race for District attorney general, but if he's deterred by the ever-growing list of candidates, he's not showing it.
"I am taking the skills that I developed and experiences that I gained through years of serving communities and dedicating them to you: to serve as your lawyer, and to protect your interests because as attorney general, you will be my clients," Smith, 34, told a gathering of dozens of supporters in Northwest on Saturday. "My connection to this city, where I am from, where my roots run deep, that connection, combined with my experience and commitment to public service, make me the right choice for attorney general."
Smith faces Lateefah Williams, Karl Racine and Paul Zukerberg in November in the city's first-ever election for the position.
"I have a top-notch campaign team and I will make the case that I am the best candidate for the job," he said. "I am taking this campaign to the people and I will ask them to put their trust in me."
Smith, who grew up in the Congress Heights area of Southeast and LeDroit Park in Northwest, is an Ivy Leaguer, having graduated from Brown University and earning his law degree from Harvard.
After a stint with D.C. law firm Hogan & Hartson, he joined the Obama presidential campaign in 2007, ultimately serving as deputy general counsel of the 2009 presidential inaugural committee. After Obama took office, Smith obtained senior-level presidential appointments in the Department of Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission.
If elected in the November general election, Smith said that he will reform the city's juvenile justice system.
"I want to keep kids in the classroom and not in the courtroom," he said during Saturday's rally to thunderous applause. "The attorney general must open doors for our young people."
Smith said that he will focus on consumer protection and making sure that District residents "are no longer second-class citizens."
He acknowledges that during the campaign, he will accept corporate contributions but that will not be central to his fundraising strategy.
"I will use my contacts from Harvard and Brown as well as members of my family and friends," Smith said. "This will be a grassroots campaign. I am putting it on the line."