Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teilhet may have company for AG. Hodges considers AG run

ALBANY — Ken Hodges of Atlanta, former district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit, says he is "99 percent sure" he going to seek to become Georgia's top lawyer.

Hodges said in a telephone interview late Saturday that he was close to making a decision to replace Thurbert E. Baker, who plans to run for governor, as attorney general.

"I am very close to making the decision," Hodges said. "I’m probably 99 percent sure I am going to do it. There was no consideration until Thurbert said he would run for governor. I would not have run against him."

Hodges says he has been gauging support from around the state the past few days.

"It’s been very positive so far," he said. "There are other calls to make and people I want to talk with. If it continues as it has so far, I expect to make a formal announcement in the not too distant future."

Hodges was D.A. in Albany for about 12 years before he left for Atlanta late in 2008 to become managing partner of the Atlanta office of Baudino Law Group, a health care litigation firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hodges is in charge of the Atlanta office for Baudino and the recently-opened Albany office.

"I’ll do like I did when I ran for district attorney the first time. I’ll work during the day & campaign at night & on weelends.

Hodges said the attorney general is "an important position."

"You need some have somebody in there that is going to protect the laws of the state and look out for the people.," he said. "I view this as a logical progression from what I did as district attorney there."

Hodges says he was aggressive in his role regarding death penalty decisions.

"The attorney general has to represent state agencies in a civil capacity, and I had done that prior to becoming a D.A. and am doing that now," he said. "It’s an easy transition for me to make."

Hodges noted that he and Baker have always had an "outstanding" relationship and that Baker had endorsed him in his last contested race.

The opening has already attracted several people with interest in the job.

Rob Teilhet of Smyrna, a Democrat, has already announced his plans to seek the job.

Also, State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) is considering a run for the office.

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