Rep. Robert Craven (D-Dist. 32) may have higher aspirations than the House of Representatives.
During a taping of WPRI-TV’s “Newsmakers” last week, Craven said he is “interested” in the opportunity to run for Rhode Island Attorney General in 2018.
Though Craven said he doesn’t currently have plans to run for the seat held by Peter F. Kilmartin, he intends to “seriously” explore the possibility. Kilmartin is in the middle of his second term as attorney general. Term limits prevent him from running for the position in 2018.
Craven served as Assistant Attorney General for nine and a half years – running the public corruption unit for two and a half years – until 1992 and said Monday he would need to discuss the matter with his family before making any concrete plans.
“I’m not looking at it as sticking my toe in the water,” he said. “I want to look at it seriously as ‘Do I want to do that job?’ I have a lot of interest in it but I wouldn’t do it to the detriment of my family. If they were 100 percent against it, then I can assure you I wouldn’t run.”
Craven plans to discuss the matter in depth with his family after the first of the year and would make a decision after considering the impact of the job on his lifestyle.
If elected, Craven would have to give up his Post Road-based private practice, Robert E. Craven and Associates, which he has operated since 1992, and his spot in the General Assembly.
One of the biggest consideration for Craven was financial as his two sons, Robert Jr. and Joseph, are currently attending Villanova University School of Law and Duke University, respectively. Craven said he has an “enormous financial commitment” to them.
“It’s pretty expensive to put kids through schools like that,” he said.
This is not the first time Craven has considered a run for Attorney General as the current state representative said he was asked to run in 1994 and 1998 by then-Gov. Bruce Sundlun and current U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, respectively. Craven said he also considered seeking the office in 2010 but reconsidered it at the behest of his family.
Craven will be 62 years old in November 2018 and says age will be a factor in his decision.
“That would probably be the last job I would have if I decide to run for four years [as attorney general] or run for re-election after that,” he said.
Craven would be the second North Kingstown-based elected official in four years to challenge for Attorney General if he chooses to seek the position in 2018. Former District 35 Sen. Dawson Hodgson – now a town solicitor for Narragansett – ran an unsuccessful campaign as a Republican against Kilmartin in 2014. The Democratic incumbent earned 56.9 percent of the vote to Hodgson’s 43 percent.
Craven received a positive recommendation from his counterpart.
“[Hodgson] said ‘go for it,’” Craven said.