Attorney General Doug Peterson said Tuesday he will seek a second term.

Peterson has stressed his years of legal experience, the importance of upholding the rule of law on the state and federal levels, and making Nebraska communities safer.

“I am very pleased to say that we have gone a long way in accomplishing several of our goals to make Nebraska communities safer," Peterson said.

Child sexual assault is being addressed statewide. There are stronger human trafficking laws and awareness, and consumer protection issues have received attention, he said.

"We have also been successful in fighting federal overreach and working to maintain strong criminal penalties for violent crimes,” Peterson said. 

He made his announcement Tuesday afternoon at a campaign kickoff with his family at the Grand Manse in downtown Lincoln.

He wants to continue, he said, because his office is in the middle of some important things, and another term would allow him to keep working on those issues, such as the opioid drug crisis in Nebraska. 

Peterson has been in the middle of some controversial issues. He said he does not seek out controversy, rather it comes to the attorney general's office. 

Early in his term, Peterson, a Republican, went forward with a lawsuit filed by his predecessor, Jon Bruning, against the state of Colorado over legalizing marijuana. 

"It is not Nebraska's position to stand idle and watch Colorado's failed experiment as it spills over to our state," he said in January 2015. 

In March 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit. Then Nebraska and Oklahoma asked to be added to a case in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver filed by legalization opponents. The court ruled it didn't have jurisdiction and the states would have to seek original action. 

"Now we're in discussions with Oklahoma as to what will be our next move," he said. 

Peterson more recently joined with nine other attorneys general asking the Trump administration to reverse a decision to allow so-called DACA youths to retain legal presence in the United States. More than 3,000 young immigrants brought here by their parents when they entered the country illegally live in Nebraska under that protection. 

Peterson stressed that DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was a constitutional issue.

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"When we see the executive branch exceeds (its) authority and by doing so impacts the state, it is necessary for us to challenge the actions of the executive branch," Peterson said in July.

He said he was committed to taking politics out of the attorney general's office. 

Peterson said there is still more to do in protecting Nebraska communities.

“I seek the privilege to continue to be an advocate for Nebraska, and to continue to stress the importance of following the Constitution as we go forward into challenging times,” he said. 

Peterson said one thing that has been new for him in this office is his interaction with the Legislature, and he has had several instances in which senators have challenged him on issues. 

"That continues to be something that I have to get accustomed to addressing," he said. 

Peterson had prostate cancer surgery in March 2015, and is cancer free now. 

"I'm feeling great," he said. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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