Oct 12, 2021 - Politics

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine won't run for office in 2022

Karl Racine stands before microphones at a press conference

Photo: Andrew Harrer for Bloomberg via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said Tuesday he will not run for office next year, capping off two terms where the Democrat took on former President Donald Trump and corporate titans.

Why it matters: For years, Racine captured national attention and considered running for mayor, but now his exit sets the stage for a competitive race to fill his seat, and other candidates to run for mayor.

Racine, the District's first elected attorney general, said that "while this decision was not made lightly, it makes most sense for my family and me right now."

  • Since 2015, he has built out a formidable law office that has run a controversial landlord out of the city, sued companies such as Amazon, and investigated Trump's business dealings.
  • He also introduced legislation to reform juvenile justice in the city. Due to the District's unique status, federal prosecutors handle adult crimes, while the local attorney general prosecutes the majority of juvenile cases.

He previously said he would only stay in office for two terms, although he had filed to run for a third term as he wrestled with his future plans.

Between the lines: Some have wondered if Racine, 58, will return to private practice, where he could increase his earnings. Racine recently became a father and moved into a new house last year.

  • "I’m proud of my careers in both the public and private sectors as I’ve spent about half of my career in each," Racine told Axios in a statement after the Washington Post broke the news. "And I’ve found value and meaning in my work in both."

What's next: Ward 5 council member Kenyan McDuffie is eyeing a potential run for attorney general.

  • McDuffie said in a statement that Racine's work "zealously protected the interests of our government as well as our city's most vulnerable residents, holding countless bad actors accountable."

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