The former federal prosecutor who went after energy giant Enron announced Thursday that he’s running to be the next Oregon Attorney General.
Lewis and Clark law professor John Kroger served on the Justice Department’s task force that prosecuted Enron, which was the parent company of Portland General Electric.
Kroger kicked off his campaign for Attorney General in the shadow of PGE’s Portland headquarters. That’s where some of what he called Enron’s “crime spree” took place.
John Kroger: "So you don’t have to wonder what kind of Attorney General I’m going to be. You can just look at my record of challenging powerful interests in court, taking them on at trial, and holding them accountable for what they do. And as Attorney General, that’s precisely what I’m going to do."
Kroger’s supporters predict his focus on corporate wrong-doing could make him Oregon’s version of Elliot Spitzer. Aggressive prosecutions of Wall Street fraud helped the former Attorney General of New York to be elected governor of that state.
In Oregon, Kroger joins what’s shaping up to be a competitive Democratic primary for Attorney General.
State Representative Greg McPhereson of Lake Oswego announced last month he’s running for the job. He welcomed Kroger to the race, but drew clear distinctions.
Greg McPherson: "Elliot Spitzer was the Attorney General of New York. And somebody wanting to be the next Elliot Spitzer should probably be running in New York. What Oregon needs is an Oregon Attorney General who understands the problems of Oregon and who has worked on those problems over time. And I’m proud of a proven record that I’ve established in the Oregon legislature."
One other possible candidate is state Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene.
No Republican has stepped forward to run. But the Oregon Republican Party says it’s actively recruiting at least two new candidates.
Last month, Democrat Hardy Myers announced he’s retiring after three terms as Attorney General.