Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and General Karl Racine thank voters, and push for D.C. statehood


Eleanor Holmes Norton introducing statehood bill Photo Courtesy of The Hill

Attorney General Karl Racine, who was re-elected to his post in a landslide, thanked District voters “for your profound trust” in an address after he was sworn in for his second term.

He said his main goal is to “help our most vulnerable residents” and “protect our seniors.” Both groups, he said, are under attack by the current national administration.

He further said he had pursued legal cases against slumlords and would continue to do so and would fight elder abusers.

Along with Maryland’s Attorney General, Racine is suing President Trump for personally profiting from his position as President through his ownership of Trump Tower in the District.

He also promised to fight in court against access to illegal guns. Among his other legal priorities are preserving affordable housing, employing evidence-based juvenile justice reforms, holding unscrupulous employers accountable for wage theft and protecting consumers from scams and other abusive business practices.

Racine is vice president of the bi-partisan National Association of Attorneys General and co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

Before his election when he was in private practice he was elected managing partner of Venable LLP and became the first African-American managing partner of a top-100 American law firm. As a college undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, he was captain of the school’s basketball team.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was not sworn in with the District officials, nonetheless spoke at their swearing in celebration.

Norton said the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives will give the District a vote on almost all key legislation for the first time in 12 years. Since she does not represent a state, she does not have a formal vote on the House floor, but she will have one in the Committee of the Whole, where almost all legislation is headed before it goes to a formal House vote.

When the Republicans had a majority in the House, she did not have a vote in the Committee of the Whole. Norton said the fact that Democrats have a majority in the House will give her a major strength in the battle for statehood.

There are now 700,000 District residents, more than several states have. District residents pay an average of $12,500 in federal income taxes, more than any of the 50 states.

“If you pay taxes,” she reminded the audience, “you deserve a vote.”

CORRECTION: Our story, “Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and General Karl Racine Thank Voters and Push For D.C. Statehood,” which was printed on Friday, January 4th, falsely stated that President Trump is the co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.  The article has now been amended to read that Attorney General Karl Racine is the vice-president of the bi-partisan National Association of Attorneys General and the former co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.   We apologize for the misidentification.