ICYMI: After ousting Tom Miller, Brenna Bird charts new direction as Iowa attorney general
"[Brenna] Bird will take over as the state’s new attorney general in January, 12 years after first seeking the office. She’ll become Iowa's first Republican to serve as attorney general since 1979.
Bird’s approach will be a stark contrast from her predecessor, Tom Miller, a Democrat who was attorney general for 40 years until Bird defeated him this year.
As a newcomer to the long-held seat, Bird, 46, is one of the Des Moines Register’s People to Watch in 2023.
Bird is taking stock of the current workings of the attorney general’s office until she officially takes over in January.
And Iowans should expect changes.
‘I predict that the next two years of the Biden administration, given that he’s lost control of the House, will see more unconstitutional executive action, and it will become very important to step up and sue the federal government in that situation,’ Bird said.
She plans to set up a new unit in her office that will be focused on the federal government. Cases dealing with agriculture will be a particular focus, she said.
One of the first things she wants to do as attorney general is a complete audit of its victim services program. Bird said she’ll miss working directly with crime victims and trying cases, like she did as Guthrie County attorney. But helping victims in a different way was one of her motivations in running for statewide office.
Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright, a Democrat who endorsed Bird in her campaign, calls her prosecutorial style ‘hard and compassionate.’
‘I think she wants to make them pay for their crime,’ he said. ‘But she still wants them to become a better person.’
In Bird’s four years as Guthrie County attorney, she developed a close relationship with Arganbright and his deputies. When deputies were called to an accident or a shooting or any other major event, Bird never failed to call and ask if everyone was OK, Arganbright said.
‘The thing I liked about Brenna was when she says she backs the blue, she means it and she shows it,’ he said.
This summer, a man came up to Bird at the Guthrie County courthouse — someone she’d previously prosecuted — and told her that he’d gotten sober, found a job with a construction company and bought a house with his girlfriend.
It’s that kind of case that helps give her work meaning, she said.
With the spotlight of a statewide office, Bob [Bird] said Iowans will get a chance to meet the Brenna he knows so well.
‘She’s a servant of the people, now the people of the state,’ he said. ‘She loves them and that’s what she’s going to have in her heart and in her mind when she goes to work every day.’”
Read the full story here.