Attorney General

The Attorney General is the state’s chief law enforcement officer and serves as the head of the state Department of Justice. The Attorney General represents North Carolina in legal matters. The Attorney General’s office advocates in court for the people in areas like civil rights, consumer protection, and the environment.

There are 2 candidates for the office of North Carolina Attorney General in 2020.

Jim O’Neill (R)
Josh Stein (D)
 
One candidate, Jim O’Neill (R), did not respond to our survey, so you will not see them mentioned below.

All answers are provided in text and audio files for each candidate. To navigate through the questions you may either scroll through this page to read or listen to their answers, or use the links below to jump directly to specific questions.

The primary candidates for the office of North Carolina Attorney General were each asked the following questions:

The complete audio of all responses for the Attorney General’s race:

English:

Spanish:

Question 1: What are your top three priorities?

Josh Stein (D)

As Attorney General, my top priorities have included combating the opioid crisis, protecting consumers, and keeping North Carolina families safe. I look forward to continuing this work in my next term as AG.

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Audio (Spanish):

Question 2: What should be required in SRO training to ensure that students with disabilities remain safe?

Josh Stein (D)

In 2018, I successfully urged North Carolina’s Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to require thorough and comprehensive training of all SRO’s. It’s essential that SROs understand the unique needs of students, including students with disabilities, so they can act with understanding and compassion to deescalate situations.

Audio (English):

Audio (Spanish):

Question 3: What will you do to promote employment of people with disabilities on your staff, in your agency, and through the funds you manage?

Josh Stein (D)

As Attorney General, my office has prioritized hiring staff from diverse backgrounds and communities. Already we have numerous employees with disabilities and strongly value their unique perspectives to the work of the office. We will continue to look for ways to expand outreach to people with disabilities so we can continue to represent the state as best we can.

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Question 4: People with disabilities often do not communicate or respond to commands in the way law enforcement officers expect, and we experience excessive force all too often in our interactions with law enforcement officers. What will you do to address use of excessive force against people with disabilities in NC?

Josh Stein (D)

As AG, I have sought meaningful reforms to the process; currently, I lead the Governor’s Task Force for Racial Equity, and we have already adopted proposals to ensure real criminal justice reforms. Of course, our work is ongoing -- we will continue to learn and improve so we can make true to the maxim chiseled on the face of the US Supreme Court building: Equal Justice Under Law.

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Question 5: People with disabilities are vastly overrepresented in our juvenile justice and criminal justice systems. What plan do you have to keep youth with disabilities out of the criminal justice system?

Josh Stein (D)

It is a travesty that people with disabilities are so overrepresented in our justice system. Part of our work of the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is to eliminate the school to prison pipeline, including those youth with disabilities. Talley Wells, Executive Director of the North Carolina Council of Developmental Disabilities, is playing a critical role in our deliberations and in shaping our proposals.

Audio (Spanish):

Question 6: How will you ensure your AAGs and DAs’ staffs across the state are appropriately trained to work with victims and witnesses who have disabilities so their experiences are taken seriously in our courts?

Josh Stein (D)

My office includes Special Prosecutions lawyers, who work with and often take over cases from local prosecutors, in addition to helping train Assistant DA’s. These attorneys work hard so that all North Carolinians are able to pursue justice, regardless of any disability. We train prosecutors both in the AG’s office and across the state and encourage them not to stereotype. My office has also hired a victim-witness coordinator to work with individuals in preparation for trials and provide needed accommodations those with disabilities may require.

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