Olens, Smith pledge faster executions
10:32 am, July 26th, 2010
The two remaining Republican candidates for attorney general—Sam Olens and Preston Smith—each said during a debate this weekend in Dalton that they’d like to “speed execution sentences for death penalty convictions,” the Dalton Daily Citizen reported.
Also during the debate, Smith criticized Olens for not being endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Olens responded that “Smith has a voting record in Georgia Legislature while he has no state voting record.”
On the subject of endorsements, Olens released an interesting list of new endorsements last week following the Tuesday primary election. Although Max Wood, former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, declined to endorse either Olens or Wood, that didn’t stop a lawyer who had been one of Wood’s biggest supporters from endorsing Olens—Macon appellate attorney Steve Dillard. Also joining the Olens bandwagon are Macon attorney Frank C. Jones, who represented Gov. Sonny Perdue in his constitutional battle with Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker and is Perdue’s lead attorney challenging President Obama’s healthcare reform law; and Keith Blackwell, past president of the Atlanta chapter of the Federalist Society.
Another new addition to Olens’ endorsement brigade is Republican state Sen. Seth Harp, a family-law attorney from Midland. Harp is the senator who took Smith’s place as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of this year’s legislative session, after Smith was booted from the post in retaliation for his voting against a hospital-bed tax. Harp waged an unsuccessful campaign this year for state insurance commissioner.
Smith has not released a list of individuals who have endorsed his attorney general’s campaign, although, as Smith noted in the Dalton debate, the NRA has endorsed him. Smith also touts on his campaign website a Georgia Right to Life endorsement.
The runoff election for attorney general is Aug. 10.