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Former U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman launches campaign for Ky. attorney general


Former U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman says he’ll run for Kentucky’s top law enforcement job in 2023, now that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is running for governor.

Coleman, a Republican, is a former FBI agent and advisor to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. He was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017 to be the top federal prosecutor in the Western District of Kentucky, a region that includes Louisville, Bowling Green and Paducah.

In a campaign video, Coleman said Kentucky families are “under attack” from violent crime, drugs and child predators.

“As the chief federal law enforcement officer for Trump in west Kentucky, my priority was the same as his: to make America safe again by stopping the people who are poisoning our communities with deadly drugs,” Coleman said.

Coleman is the first to join the race for attorney general, which could become a crowded field now that Cameron isn’t seeking reelection.

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams said he will consider running for the office shortly after Cameron’s announcement on Tuesday.

Despite his support for the former president, Coleman denounced the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021 when he resigned at the end of the administration.

“I hope each and every perpetrator is brought to justice, and our country can heal from this tragic chapter,” Coleman said at the time.

During his time as U.S. Attorney, Coleman created a program to try and reduce violent crime in Louisville, prosecuted former Louisville police officers involved in a child sex abuse scandal, charged a western Kentucky coal company official for conspiring to falsify coal dust safety monitoring and brought hate crime charges against the man who killed two people at a Jeffersontown Kroger in 2018.

Coleman also briefly worked as a spokesman for the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, and advocated to expand Kentucky’s expungement law.

In his campaign announcement, Coleman listed more than 50 endorsements from prosecutors, law enforcement officials and public figures, including former president Trump’s drug czar, James Carroll, former Kentucky Commerce Secretary Jim Host and Louisville Metro Council Member Anthony Piagentini.

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues,Ryland'sreporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
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