- Former US Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will not run for President on Monday.
- Holder, 67, served as attorney general under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015. He previously served as a US Attorney, deputy attorney general, and worked as a litigator in private practice.
- Since leaving the Obama administration, Holder has embarked on a mission to elect Democrats and combat gerrymandering as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
- “Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and its affiliates,” Holder said in an op-ed for the Washington Post. “For too long, Democrats have lost sight of the state and local races that shape the day-to-day lives of the people we serve.”
Eric Holder, who served as a US attorney general under former President Barack Obama, announced he will not seek the Democratic nomination in 2020 on Monday and instead focus on electing Democrats at the state and local level.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Holder ended speculation over a potential bid and said he would focus on the work of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which aims to end gerrymandering and elect Democrats in state legislatures.
“Our fight to end gerrymandering is about electing leaders who actually work for the interests of the people they are supposed to represent,” Holder wrote. “I will do everything I can to ensure that the next Democratic president is not hobbled by a House of Representatives pulled to the extremes by members from gerrymandered districts.”
Holder made visits to early presidential primary states such as Iowa, which increased speculation around a possible presidential bid.
Holder, 67, has worked in public interest law for decades. He began his career in the DOJ’s public integrity division in the 1980s before going on to serve as a Superior Court judge in the District of Columbia, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, deputy attorney general, and working in private practice at Covington & Burling.
Holder served as US attorney general from 2009 to 2015, the first African-American to hold the position. The New York Times editorial board described his tenure in the post as “one of the most consequential in United States history.”
Under Holder’s leadership, the Department of Justice stopped enforcing the Defence of Marriage Act, aggressively cracked down on voter suppression tactics, and won a lawsuit against the state of Arizona striking controversial immigration restrictions that critics argued enabled racial profiling.
Holder’s legacy, however, was not without controversy. The DOJ was criticised for its secrecy and lack of transparency in defending drone strikes and other anti-terror policies, for ramping up investigations and prosecutions of government leakers, and for not prosecuting executives responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.
Since leaving the Obama administration, Holder has returned to practice at Covington & Burling. He’s remained involved in political activism as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) and founder of the Eric Holder for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia University, his alma mater.
In December, Obama announced that his organisation, Organising for Action would turn all its focus to gerrymandering and merge with the NDRC.
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