D.C. residents will vote for their attorney general for the first time on November 4th. Before this election the attorney general had been appointed by the mayor.
While the U.S. Attorney General will continue to handle issues of political corruption, the District's Attorney General's major responsibilities will be to handle juvenile cases and lawsuits against the City Government.
WUSA9's Bruce Johnson interviewed all five attorneys vying for the position, read more about the candidates and see raw interviews below.
Read our full voting guide HERE.
Lorie Masters is a partner at Perkins Coie and has litigated cases related to election practices, predatory lending and human trafficking.
Masters has served on the boards of Legal Aid in DC, the DC Bar Foundation and the Women's Bar Association Foundation.
Masters chaired the Women of Color Research Initiative of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and is one of Benchmark's "Top 250 Women in Litigation."
If elected Masters will use the attorney general's office to "bring a sense of justice and fairness to the district." Masters believes her professional experience as well as her time spent volunteering as a defender of homeowners and sex trafficking victims will help her in the position.
For more information on the Masters campaign visit her campaign website.
Karl Racine attended D.C. public schools before graduating from St. John's High School and the University of Pennsylvania. Racine currently works with Venable LLP and is the first African American Managaing Partner of an AM LAW 100 law firm.
"I love the story of the District of Columbia residents and I take tremendous pride in being a citizen," Racine said.
Racine's 25 years of experience include defending kids in juvenile court as a public defender and serving as Associate White House Counsel for the Clinton Administration for three years.
Racine believes that his professional experience as a lawyer and his personal experience growing up in D.C.'s schools and on its playgrounds will help him navigate the attorney general's office.
Racine sees having voters select their attorney general as an opportunity to select an "independent attorney general who has tremendous substance."
If elected, Racine plans use the attorney general's office as a checks and balances system for the Mayor's Office and the D.C. City Council.
Racine has been endorsed by the Washington Post and former president Bill Clinton.
For more information on the Racine campaign visit his campaign website.
Edward "Smity" Smith grew up in a tough Anacostia neighborhood and went on to attend Brown University and Harvard Law. Smith began his career at Hogan Lovells before joining President Barack Obama's campaign.
" I have led in senior positions in the Obama administration, on some of the toughest issues that our country has faced leading large teams of lawyers on multi-million dollar and multi-billion dollar projects taking on really tough issues and doing so in an effective manner," Smith said. Smith describes himself as a dedicated public servant who has devoted his career to the lives of everyday Americans, and everyday Washingtonians.
A major point of Smith's platform is working to reform the juvenile justice system. "We are overprosecuting our young people and unfortunately we are not providing them with the resources that they need and the options that they need to avoid re-offending in the future, " Smith said.
For more information on the Smith campaign visit his campaign website.
Lateefah Williams attended Oxon Hill High School and earned her law degree at Georgetown Law. Williams served as Counsel to the Prince George's County, Maryland State Senate Delegation and is currently the Legislative Committee Chair for the DC Federation of Democratic Women.
Williams feels it is important that someone with deep roots in the grassroots community represents the people. "I have a variety of experiences on the legal front but I have also been very very active on the grassroots level," Williams said. "I think its really important for someone who has experience working with various constituencies across the city to represent all of the residents of Washington" Williams said.
"As the first elected attorney general, this person is going to set the tone for the office" Williams explained. If elected Williams plans to enforce existing policies such as the First Source Employment Program. "We have to stop allowing people to do business with the District of Columbia who aren't going to comply with our local laws," Williams said.
For more information on the Williams campaign visit her campaign website.
Paul Zukerberg attended Hamilton College in New York before moving to D.C. to earn his JD from American University's Washington College of Law. Zukerberg now runs a law firm in Adams Morgan.
Zukerberg was a major supporter of converting the office of attorney general to an elected office.
"I'm the only one who stood up for the voters, stood up to the council, to the mayor, to the appointed attorney general and made this election go forward," Zukerberg said. Zukerberg says that this his determination to put the office on the ballot separates him from his competitors.
Zukerburg is an advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana, which he says will help prevent the nearly 6,000 arrests annually. Zukerburg notes that those arrested on marijuana charges are " mostly young African American boys and young men," and he believes that decriminalization will keep 6,000 young men from ending up " on the school to prison pipeline.
For more information on the Williams campaign visit his campaign website.