AG Candidates On Attack During Debate

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

The candidates for Attorney General came out swinging.

"You, sitting on an appellate court, have been soft on crime. You have continuously ruled for murderers, rapists," says Democrat David Leyton of his opponent, Bill Schuette.

"There's a woman here named Brenda Simpson. Her son was tragically murdered-- poisoned and thrown in a river. And you didn't prosecute," Schuette rebuts.

Schuette and Leyton were each trying to portray the other as an ineffective man of the law Friday, saying the other let down victims and their families after major crimes.

"If you can't get the job done at home, how can you be the head law enforcer of Michigan?" Schuette says.

"I've had 20,000 cases with a 95 percent conviction rate," Leyton says.

Much of the 30-minute debate that will air on public television was focused around Leyton's career as a prosecutor and Schuette's career as a judge. Both men brought along murder victims' families to speak on their behalf.

"David Leyton shut the door in my face for over a year," says Brenda Simpson, whose son was murdered. She supports Schuette.

"David Leyton is a man of the people," says Pastor Kevelin Jones, whose daughter was murdered. He supports Leyton.

During a rapid-fire question session, the men agreed there shouldn't be a constitutional convention, they're not for gay marriage and a part-time legislature should be reconsidered. But what got more reaction was their bickering and interrupting that, at times, went on for nearly a minute.

After the debate, Schuette left without talking to reporters. Leyton stayed to weigh in on the debate.

"I thought I did great. I think I talked about what I wanted to talk about," Leyton says.

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