Loose Lips

Ex-FCC Lawyer Enters the Attorney General Race

Smitty Head ShotThe race to be the District's first elected attorney general got a new candidate Thursday with the entry of former Federal Communications Commission special counsel Edward H. Smith II. Or is that "Smitty?"

“As you can see, my name’s Smitty," the 34-year-old Smith tells LL. "That’s what everybody calls me, so please do."

Smith, a Bloomingdale resident, will launch his "Smitty for AG" campaign Saturday at noon at the corner of 2nd Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, by the house where Smith grew up after his family moved from Congress Heights. Smith studied law at Harvard, before becoming an associate at law firm Hogan & Hartson (now called Hogan Lovells).

Smith tells LL that he'd bring a focus on juvenile justice reform to the Office of the Attorney General. Unlike Attorney General Irv Nathan, Smith thinks that the 2013 referendum that ostensibly gave the District budget autonomy from Congress had legal force, and he would have defended it in court.

Smith, who's brought on former Jack Evans mayoral campaign manager Josh Brown as an advisor, will face Paul Zukerberg and Mark H. Tuohey in November. He claims that he's not concerned about being a newcomer facing Zukerberg, a former at-large D.C. Council candidate, and Tuohey, the politically well-connected former chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission.

 "I connect the old and the new, and ultimately the voters will decide," Smith says. "Not the establishment."

Photo courtesy Edward Smith

  • Hillcrest Voter

    I am glad we have a candidate of color in this race. The people of DC need an Attorney General who will look out for them rather than the rich and powerful.

  • Ward 5 Democrat

    It's about time we have someone who grew up here in DC in charge of the juvenile justice system. I'm going to support this guy.

  • well

    It's great to have people of color running for office. But just being black doesn't mean you'll look out for the people. I don't know anything about Smitty and maybe he is great. But in terms of being of the people? Zukerberg's spent a lot of time doing criminal defense and trying to decriminalize marijuana. He went to American for law school and started a practice that represents people. The article says Harvard then joined a big firm (representing corporations like Archstone, according to Hogan's website) and moved over to the federal government.

    This is not to say who to vote for. I'm waiting til they debate to decide. But connections to the DC community come from more than skin color.

  • Malcolm

    Hiring Josh "$384.00 a vote" Brown must have been Mark Tuohey's idea. That makes "Smitty" already suspect in my book. It ensures he will lose but draws votes more from Zuckerberg and sucks a whole lot of money out of the system with no effect.

    So Smitty didn't make partner?

  • Jared

    Is there a better candidate than someone born and raised in the rougher parts of DC who persevered? And this is a guy who left corporate law where he was probably making a ton of money to become a public servant. I hope voters recognize that this guy is special.

  • please, no

    same josh brown who said that he wanted to make the city look like it barfed up jack evans? oy.

  • Sarah

    Josh Brown was able to elect Anita Bonds. That was quite impressive with all of the shit that came out of her mouth.

  • I know Smitty

    Inside, he does not have the interests of people of color at heart. I know him. He is more sinister than Jack Evans.

  • Smitty is unqualified

    He practiced corporate law for a couple years and has been communications law for a couple years since. What does he know about the juvenile justice system? Civil litigation? Consumer advocacy? Managing and supervising other lawyers? Looks like he has zero professional experience in all of the areas of responsibility for the attorney general.

  • tony

    He should and will WIN!

  • I know Smitty better

    Smitty is a smart and caring guy who is about as "sinister" as my grandmother. Pay no attention to anonymous cheap shots.

  • Corky

    He's just as qualified as the others in the race. I'd definitely give him due consideration for an office that will be an utter mess when whoever wins takes over. The law is flawed and was instituted solely to get rid of Peter Nickles. It will create unclear lines of authority and a bureaucratic nightmare for the city's attorneys and agency directors. Whoever gets this office may soon regret taking it.

  • Typical DC BS

    Guess he missed the part about DC law NOT superseding FEDERAL laws re: budget autonomy. Too bad his reading of that nonsense (already confirmed by a federal judge) shows how poor his grasp of the law is.

    Juvenile justice reform? You mean keeping the violent wanna-bes locked up before they graduate to being convicted as adults? Juvenile "justice" in DC is a joke.

    Wonder what his attitude will be towards illegal aliens who commit crimes here, then walk away when DC does "catch and release"?

  • Anita Volunteer

    It was a smart move to hire Josh Brown. I worked with him to help elect Anita Bonds and he did a great job.