When he leaves office early next month, Wisconsin’s top cop says he’ll do so with no regrets.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen decided not to seek a third term this past November and will step down when Republican AG-elect Brad Schimel is sworn in next month. After eight years in office, the Republican says he’s proud of what he’s been able to accomplish. “I don’t leave with any regrets, other than leaving itself. I like public service. This will be the end of 22 years in public service, certainly a full career by anyone’s standards.”
In fact, Van Hollen says part of the reason he decided not to seek another term was that he has accomplished much of what he set out to do when he was first elected.
Among his achievements during two terms as Wisconsin’s attorney; reducing a DNA backlog at the state crime lab, expanding efforts to go after criminals who prey on children, and launching a campaign to combat a heroin epidemic that threatens many in the state.
There have been some criticism for Van Hollen, of course. Most recently, that focused on his continued defense of Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The provision was struck down by a federal court earlier this year and the state Supreme Court rejected an appeal of that decision. Despite the loss in court, Van Hollen argues opponents of the ban should be pleased that the court battle took place, because it provided some degree of finality on the issue.
As for the future, Van Hollen says he’s not against the idea of running for another public office at some point in the future. At least for now, he has ruled out a run for the state Supreme Court in the spring. “I’m not opposed to it. I put a lot of thought into it and I’m not saying it won’t happen in the future.” However, he added that his focus for now is going to be on his family, which will be easier to do while working in the private sector. Where that job might be is something Van Hollen says is a decision he will focus on after his term ends.