Attorney General Race Getting Crowded: Rep. Cam Staples Joins The Party

Veteran New Haven Rep. Cameron Staples, co-chairman of the powerful-but-recently depressing Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee of the General Assembly, will join Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and George Jepsen of Ridgefield, the former Senate majority leader, in the race for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.

Staples, with 18 years in the House, will scale back his legal practice at Neubert, Pepe and Montieth in New Haven, where he’s a partner, to work toward the May party nominating convention and possibly beyond.

Speaking to three reporters this afternoon in the Cromwell Crowne Plaza hotel, the 51-year-old Staples said that focusing on law and health care for the last 20 years has given him an advantage in the kind of civil practice that the attorney general leads. He said he looks forward to rooting out potential abuses in the eventual health-care-reform products that will emerge from Congress and the state Legislature. “This is the job you aspire to,” Staples said, noting that he considered running for the last couple weeks after Sen. Chris Dodd’s withdrawal from re-election consideration made Attorney General Dick Blumenthal the presumptive Democratic candidate for Senate.

Meanwhile, Jepsen today continued to stoke the embers of the conflagration around the requirements for AG and a general question over whether Bysiewicz has enough time as a practicing attorney to be AG. “As a lawyer, she should know that a court of law is the proper venue to resolve the issue of her professional qualifications to run for attorney general,” Jepsen said in a statement this morning, following Bysieiwcz’s request last week that Blumenthal consider whether she meets the statutory requiremwents.

” An opinion from Attorney General Blumenthal is simply not binding and will not resolve the issue for her,” Jepsen said. “She needs to work through the proper channels of the court system.”

, aewoer