The race to challenge Attorney General Maura Healey next fall is on now that a second Republican attorney, this one also from Cape Cod, has launched his campaign for the statewide office.
Dan Shores, a Cape Cod resident and Boston patent law attorney, said in an interview that after several months of considering his options and evaluating Healey's record as attorney general he decided to run for the seat to "restore integrity" and end what he considers the politicization of the office.
"I felt that the office is being used to advance politics and is not being used for purposes that directly help the people here in Massachusetts," Shores said.
Despite speculation that she may decide to get into the race for governor in 2018, Healey has said she plans to seek re-election in 2018 four years after upending the political establishment as a little-known state prosecutor and capturing the attorney general's office.
Republican attorney James "Jay" McMahon, of Bourne, announced his campaign for attorney general in late July at a Massachusetts Republican Assembly fundraising event, and now Shores has become the second GOP lawyer looking to bring down Healey.
Born in Boston, Shores, 45, grew up on the South Shore in Weymouth and Carver. He currently lives in Sandwich with his wife Lindsay, whom he met during his 2014 Congressional campaign, and their two English bulldogs.
After 13 years of working in Washington, D.C., Shores returned to Massachusetts and co-founded the Boston law firm Shores & Oliver, PC, which focuses on patent and other intellectual property law services. In 2014, he ran for Congress in the Ninth District represented by Democratic Rep. William Keating and finished third in a four way GOP primary, winning five of the 45 communities in the district, including Plymouth.
Shores said the dozens of lawsuits that Healey has filed against the Trump administration, many of them involving environmental regulations, demonstrates a miscalculation in how state resources should be deployed.
Though he described himself as an "environmentalist," Shores said, "I think that I'm much more concerned about chemicals going into people's bodies in the forms of opioids and the epidemic we have than into our collective atmosphere. It's a priorities question."
Asked whether he supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Shores said, "With respect to President Trump, I'm a lifelong Republican and he was the Republican nominee. I did not overtly support the president, but I respected the process."
Shores described himself as a "constitutional conservative in the spirit of the great John Adams" and said if he were to win he would be "tough on crime" and come down hard on drug traffickers. He supports mandatory minimum sentencing for trafficking offenses.
"The current attorney general is soft on crime...," Shores said. "Our families should feel safe in their homes and coordinating with district attorneys' offices I would put the full force and weight of the office behind cracking down on drug traffickers to ensure our kids coming home from schools aren't walking past a home where folks are trafficking drugs."
Healey supports eliminating mandatory minimums for certain drug crimes that "fall short of trafficking and do not involved minors" and has also said she would be open to changing the minimum threshold amounts that trigger trafficking charges for certain drugs.
McMahon, who early on has aligned himself with the more conservative wing of the state Republican Party, has also said the opioid crisis would be his first priority as attorney general and called for better cooperation with federal law enforcement to stop the illegal trafficking of opiates and fentanyl across borders, to "be brutal" with street-level sellers of narcotics and for better treatment programs for addicts, including "involuntary commitment."
Shores described Thursday as the informal kick-off of his campaign and said he planned to work hard starting now to get his message in front of voters.
Michael Pollack will manage Shore's campaign, and he has hired Bradley Crate, the founder of Red Curve Solutions and Romney for President chief financial officer, as his campaign treasurer.
"I'm someone with blue collar values and a strong attorney who loves this state that if elected will use the office for the people of the state and not politics," Shores said.