116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Brenna Bird, the Republican challenger, promised to be a fighter against the Democratic federal administration.
Tom Miller, the Democratic incumbent, promised to continue addressing violent crimes, holding opioid manufacturers accountable and protecting Iowa consumers from scams.
Miller and Bird, the candidates for Iowa attorney general — the state’s lawyer — spoke this past week at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
Miller, who spoke Wednesday afternoon, said his guiding star in office has been to “do what’s right by the law.”
Miller is the longest-serving state attorney general in U.S. history. He is completing his 10th four-year term as attorney general and has served in the office since 1979, except for four years from 1991 to 1994, when he went into private practice.
“What the law is and what the basic legal principles are, are our guidepost,” Miller said. “Not what particular people or large groups of people want us to do despite that. I think we have a reputation for doing that.”
Bird, whose turn on the Soapbox came on Saturday, said, if elected, she would support law enforcement and legally challenge executive actions coming from President Joe Biden.
Bird claimed that law enforcement officials are underappreciated and have been villainized by Democrats.
“The current attorney general is silent when it comes to supporting law enforcement,” she said. “When I’m attorney general, we will back the blue and we will work with law enforcement.”
Bird said the Biden administration has been hampering Iowans and farmers through executive actions, and she said she would sue the administration over “unconstitutional mandates.”
With two years left in Biden’s term after the November elections, Bird said her election would be a check on the federal government.
Miller said that shows the difference between him and Bird as candidates.
“ (Bird) has a strong commitment to the ideology and the partisan politics of issues. That’s exemplified by, when she announced (her campaign), it was almost all she was going to sue Biden, anti-Biden,” Miller said. “And that’s essentially an ideological agenda. It’s not an agenda that will affect Iowans.”
In her Soapbox remarks, Bird did not specify policies she would challenge. But she has previously taken aim at policies like Environmental Protection Agency regulations on water quality — like the Waters of the U.S. rule — and herbicides, and implementation of protections for endangered species.
“It will become even more important,” Bird said, “that Iowa has an attorney general who will stand up for freedom, who will stand up for farmers, and who will enforce the federal constitution and laws on the federal government.”
Bird said Miller is not prioritizing the interests of Iowans and has been in office too long.
The general election is Nov. 8. Early voting in Iowa starts Oct. 19.