Newt Gingrich (R)
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)— Republicans ought to run candidates in every race for state attorney general next year, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.
An icon among conservatives for winning the majority in Congress in 1994, the former 10-term Georgia congressman said in an appearance on NewsmaxTV that Republicans are poised for big wins in next year's elections.
"I think there's a backlash building against the entire secular, socialist wing of the Democratic Party," Gingrich said, naming U.S. President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as liberal leaders.
"Whether it's Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid or President Obama, all of them are arousing the American people to defend America against very left wing, radical ideas," Gingrich said.
Gingrich, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, noted that Republican wins this month in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey shows support for conservative candidates.
"I think you could easily have a bigger backlash in 2010 than we had in 1994," said Gingrich, who co-authored the "Contract with America," which helped bring a Republican majority to Congress in 1994.
To seize their opportunity, he said Republicans ought to do three things.
"First, they have to be the alternative party, not the opposition party," Gingrich told NewsMax.
Secondly, he said Republicans must contest every seat at every level -- from school boards, to city councils, to state legislatures, to Congress.
Last year, for instance, Republicans did not run a candidate for Oregon attorney general, conceding the post to a Democrat.
"Third," Gingrich said, "they've got to win the arguments."
He said there is a philosophical struggle under way between far-left liberals and the rest of the nation.
"You have the secular, socialist left, their labor union, trial lawyer and academic allies," Gingrich said. "This is their one chance to try to ram through the kind of radical America that they want. Then you have the rest of the country."
In August, insiders told Legal Newsline that they expected the ranks of Democratic state attorneys general to shrink after the 2010 elections.
Currently, there are 31 Democratic state attorneys general and 19 Republican AGs. Of the 30 races next year, 11 involve states with incumbent Republican AGs and 19 of them involve states with Democratic AGs.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, said it is expected Democrats will gain more AG seats in 2010.
"We've had two huge Democratic cycles in a row -- in 2008 and 2006," Gansler said in August. "It is unrealistic to think that it's going to continue in perpetuity."
Gansler, who describes himself as a pro-business Democrat, said Obama's approval in the respective states could affect some AG races.
"The biggest factor in all of this is: What's going to be the macro political scene in 2010?" he said. "In 2010, who knows, the economy could turn around and it could be another huge year for Democrats."
States holding AG elections in 2010 are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.