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Iowa Democratic AG hires Republican governor’s legal counsel

November 12, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s longtime Democratic attorney general said Thursday that he has hired Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ senior legal counsel to work as one of his assistants.

Attorney General Tom Miller said that Sam Langholz, a prominent conservative attorney, will be an assistant attorney general focusing on civil litigation and appeals.

Langholz, 40, is a longtime member of the Federalist Society who has advised the governor on judicial appointments and other matters.

Langholz applied for an opening on the Iowa Supreme Court earlier this year but was not among the finalists forwarded to the governor for consideration by a nominating committee. Ultimately, she chose longtime Republican lawyer Matthew McDermott.

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In an unusual move, the governor announced Langholz’s appointment in the attorney general’s office in a press release that also quoted Miller.

She called Langholz a “brilliant legal mind” who was an instrumental part of her team, and said she looked forward to watching his career grow in Miller’s office.

Miller said Langholz’s knowledge and experience “will be a real asset for us.”

“We believe he’s a top legal talent,” said Miller, noting that Langholz was a top student at the University of Iowa law school and later clerked for a federal appeals court. “He knows the law and will be a strong advocate for state government and Iowa taxpayers.”

Miller has not announced whether he’s running for reelection in 2022 in a state that has shifted toward Republicans in recent years.