Felecia Rotellini has the experience and the values to serve Arizona well as our attorney general and should be elected to the position.
Rotellini was for 13 years an aggressive assistant attorney general. She also has led a statewide agency successfully. She has the chops, the track record and the right priorities to serve the people of Arizona well as attorney general.
Rotellini, a Democrat, is pitted against Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, a Republican, in the Nov. 2 general election.
Rotellini describes herself as a "political outsider." She served from 1992 to 2005 as a civil and criminal prosecutor and worked under Attorneys General Grant Woods, a Republican, and then Terry Goddard, a Democrat.
She was appointed superintendent of the State Banking Department (now the Department of Financial Institutions) in 2006 by former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano; Rotellini continued in the job under Republican Gov. Jan Brewer until she left the post in late 2009 to go into private practice.
Woods has endorsed Rotellini for attorney general, saying she's the better of the two candidates.
In the financial institutions post, Rotellini formed a mortgage fraud task force that brought together city, state and federal law enforcement agencies. She also worked to make the institution self-funding.
She also played a key role in working with the Legislature to enact a 2008 law requiring that mortgage loan officers be licensed, thus helping to protect borrowers from unqualified and unsavory lenders.
As attorney general, Rotellini vows to be a nonpartisan advocate for families, consumers and civil rights.
"I think folks are really sick and tired of partisanship," she told us. We agree.
Rotellini's other priorities also are in good order. As attorney general, Rotellini said that she would "go after fraud," especially consumer and financial fraud, and "give great advice" to state agencies facing legal questions.
She understands that the "client" of the Attorney General's Office is the people of Arizona. She said she will seek to assure prosecutors in the office that their choices in deciding which cases to pursue need not be colored by concerns about which might be in "the best interest of their boss" or which cases would serve a particular ideology or political agenda.
To describe the kind of culture she wants to nurture, Rotellini quoted Grant Woods, when he hired her in the Attorney General's Office, as telling her, "Just do the right thing, and I'll have your back."
Rotellini promised to use the "full force" of the Attorney General's Office to stop human smuggling and drug cartels.
She opposed SB 1070, the state's new immigration enforcement law, she has said, because it doesn't do enough to combat illegal immigration.
Although the AG's office, like other agencies, has been hit hard by state budget cuts, Rotellini said she will not reduce funding to the office's civil rights division or consumer protection section, and she plans to resurrect Woods' elder affairs unit.
She also expects to develop a training program that will attract young attorneys who want to learn how to be effective prosecutors. This will reap benefits for Arizona.
Arizona needs an attorney general whose goal is to serve the people, not the politicians.
We believe Felecia Rotellini fits the bill.
Arizona Daily Star