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Richards vows support for local police, attorneys if elected Wisconsin AG

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State Representative Jon Richards says he would continue supporting local police and prosecutors if he's elected as the next attorney general. 

The Milwaukee Democrat announced his candidacy Wednesday to replace Republican J.B. Van Hollen as the head of the state Justice Department. 

Richards is an attorney who's been in the Assembly for almost 15 years. 

He said he wants to address Wisconsin's large increase in heroin abuse, domestic violence, court delays, city and school violence, and what he calls "apathy" toward drunk driving. Richards also vowed to preserve open government. 

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel is the only other candidate for attorney general so far. He's a Republican, and his campaign advisor Darrin Schmitz said Richards would pursue political, liberal agendas from the Justice Department. 

However, Richards said he set politics aside and be what he called an "independent" and "experienced" leader. 

Two others say they're considering candidacies for attorney general -- state Assembly Democrat Chris Taylor of Madison, and director Jim Palmer of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.