OKLAHOMA CITY — Three Republicans are vying for the nomination for attorney general.
They include incumbent Mike Hunter, Tulsa attorney and businessman Gentner Drummond and Oklahoma Indigent Defense System attorney Angela Bonilla.
The primary is June 26.
One Democrat, attorney Mark Myles of Oklahoma City, filed for the post. He will be on the general election ballot.
The primary ballot will also feature a question asking voters to legalize medical marijuana.
Bonilla supports medical marijuana.
“I think it has a lot of good qualities about it,” she said. “I like for one that it is naturally grown.”
She said it is very easy for doctors to prescribe drugs that become addictive.
Drummond said the issue is for the voters to decide and he would support that decision.
“As far as I am concerned, it is recreational marijuana light,” Hunter said. “If that is something you support as a voter, that is fine. I just want to make sure people know what they are voting on.”
The measure, if passed, would impose a burden on the Oklahoma State Department of Health, businesses, landlords and regulatory entities, Hunter said.
In March, Hunter and Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh announced that the state would use nitrogen gas to execute inmates instead of lethal injection.
The decision came after states across the country had trouble obtaining the drugs used in lethal injections.
“First of all, it may be the public defender in me, but I do not support the death penalty,” Bonilla said. “To me, it is legalized murder.”
She also believes using nitrogen gas is experimental.
But with that said, she would adhere to the law.
“The death penalty is the law of the land so I will defend the law of the land,” Drummond said.
He said the use of nitrogen gas appears to be constitutional, but he would prefer another state take the lead on it.
Hunter said nitrogen gas is used frequently in assisted suicides.
“It has been tested and determined to have been a humane way for someone to end their life in states and countries that allow that,” Hunter said. “We are not rushing into this.”
Lawmakers in recent years have passed a growing number of bills that have been tossed out by the courts.
The attorney general is tasked with defending those measures.
Bonilla said it is a waste of resources for the office to have to defend unconstitutional laws.
“I am pro-life and believe in the Second Amendment,” Drummond said. “I understand what motivates the legislature to adopt some of these laws that ultimately get struck down.”
He said his role would be to provide guidance to lawmakers regarding bills that might run afoul of the law. He also said lawmakers need to understand the costs of defending the measures.
Likewise, Hunter said his office provides advice on bills that could be unconstitutional.
Hunter said that although there has been a lot of criticism and conversation about unconstitutional bills, he is not aware of an attorney general who has refused to defend the state.
“Everyone is entitled to a day in court and that applies to the legislature too,” Hunter said.