Suthers, Garnett spar over political contributions

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Republican incumbent John Suthers and Democrat Stan Garnett are sparring over political contributions they have taken from supporters in their race for attorney general.

Suthers on Thursday defended taking more than $10,000 from payday lenders while he was drafting industry regulations. He says the rules against contributions only apply to people under investigation or prosecution for criminal or civil violations.

Garnett rejected suggestions that he had a conflict of interest by taking contributions from individual trial lawyers who stand to collect big fees in lawsuits being handled by the attorney general’s office. Garnett said he won’t accept contributions from big law firms or industry political action committees.