McDuffie Not Qualified for Attorney General, Board of Elections Rules

The D.C. Board of Elections ruled Monday that Kenyan McDuffie does not meet the statutory qualifications to be the District’s next attorney general, a major blow to his campaign to replace the outgoing Karl Racine.

Following a hearing on a challenge that one of his opponents, Bruce Spiva, filed, the board rejected McDuffie’s argument that his job as the Ward 5 councilmember counts as being “actively engaged” as an attorney, as D.C. law requires.

The law requires the D.C. attorney general to be “actively engaged” as a practicing attorney in D.C., a judge in D.C., a professor of law in D.C., or an attorney employed by the local or federal government for five of the previous 10 years. McDuffie is a trained lawyer and is licensed in D.C. He clerked for a judge in Prince George’s County before becoming a prosecutor there. He also worked in the civil rights division for the Department of Justice, but left that job before running in the Ward 5 primary in 2010. He’s represented Ward 5 on the Council since 2012.

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