New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker endorsed fellow Democrat Aaron Ford for Nevada Attorney General, the only AG candidate Booker has endorsed so far this year.
“Whether it is reducing gun violence, fighting for meaningful criminal justice reform, or improving the mental health care system, Aaron Ford will be a persistent advocate for Nevadans as Attorney General,” wrote Booker in his endorsement statement.
Ford previously picked up an endorsement from California Sen. Kamala Harris. Both Harris and Booker are frequently mentioned as possible Democratic presidential candidates in 2020.
While it is not uncommon for aspiring national candidates to curry connections with state-level politicians, this year’s endorsements in the AG’s race may have an added impetus.
“It’s a newer trend to see prominent leaders within the party like Vice President Biden, Senator Harris, and Senator Booker endorsing in AG races,” wrote Lizzie Ulmer, Communications Director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association in an email. “This only underscores the importance of Democratic Attorneys General in this current environment. The spotlight is on this office, people are paying attention, and the stakes are high—these down-ballot races are going to play a huge role in protecting our democracy.”
This year Attorney General races are in the spotlight due to their increased role in shaping national policy by directly challenging the federal government in an era of intense gridlock.
In February, twenty states brought a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, now that the individual mandate has been abolished.
Seventeen states including Washington, New York and California, sued the Trump administration in June over the family separation policy arguing that it unconstitutionally infringes on parents’ rights.
Ford is facing Republican opponent Wes Duncan for Nevada Attorney General.