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Civil rights attorney announces candidacy for state attorney general

Cheyna Roth
Dana Nessel is seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general in 2018.

A civil rights attorney announced her run for state Attorney General today.

Dana Nessel was an attorney for a same sex couple whose case went on to be part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

More recently, the Democrat is part of a task force with the Wayne County prosecutor’s office to investigate hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Nessel is a former prosecuting attorney. She says she isn’t worried about only being viewed as the LGBT candidate.

“You name it, I handled it," Nessel said. "So I think I have the depth and the breadth of experience for this job. And yes I feel like I’m going to work very hard on behalf of the LGBT community, but I’m going to work hard on behalf of all kinds of communities.”

Nessel has a list of issues she hopes to tackle as Attorney General – from hate crimes to marijuana. But she says a top priority is shutting down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. That’s the controversial line that carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac.  

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette is term limited and cannot run for this seat again. But he is widely expected to run for governor in 2018.

Democrats and Republicans pick their attorney general candidates at party conventions next year. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Enbridge Line 5 transports liquid natural gas. That is not correct. It transports light crude and natural gas liquids.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R