House Speaker Leonard running for Michigan attorney general

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, right, House Speaker Tom Leonard, center, and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, left, speak to reporters after announcing a budget and pension deal on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the Capitol in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican legislative leader is running to be Michigan’s next attorney general.

House Speaker Tom Leonard announced his candidacy Thursday, saying he will “make Michigan stronger and safer.” He’s the second Republican to enter the race, joining state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker.

Republicans and Democrats will choose their attorney general candidates at conventions next summer.

The 36-year-old Leonard has led the House since January and is in his final House term due to term limits. He previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Genesee County.

He says Michigan must be tough on violent crime, protect gun rights and stop “sanctuary” cities from shielding immigrants in the country illegally.

Democratic candidates include former federal prosecutor Pat Miles and former Wayne County assistant prosecutor Dana Nessel.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is term-limited.