Minnesota, like the U.S. as a whole, is facing exceptional challenges as never before. Opioid use and drug crises have ravaged rural Minnesota and our American Indian communities. Our children don't feel safe at school. Sexual violence and sex trafficking are prevalent throughout Minnesota. Seniors aren't always protected from abuse in our health care system. Our immigrant community is yearning for respect and has the right to feel confident that the laws of Minnesota will be used to help them like any other citizen of Minnesota.

I believe that these, and many other legal issues facing our state, require multifaceted and modern-day solutions to make Minnesota safe and strong for everyone, which is why I am running for attorney general of our great state.

As Minnesota's next attorney general, I will dedicate myself to defending working families and fiercely oppose anyone who attempts to tarnish our values and our laws.

Minnesota needs independent, effective leadership, which is exactly what I bring to the table. Minnesotans have been pushed aside by the political opportunists who are more interested in advancing radical political agendas. But I, like you, have had enough. We need to focus on our shared Minnesota values to build a better future for our children and grandchildren.

The Attorney General's Office is the largest public law office in the state, with over 170 lawyers working on behalf of Minnesota's 100-plus state agencies and commissions. It takes a unique legal skill set to successfully manage this complex organization, and I am the only candidate in this campaign who has managed a large, public law office. My experience as county attorney and top prosecutor for two of Minnesota's largest counties means I won't need on-the-job training before getting to work as the lawyer for all Minnesotans.

I saw firsthand the harm that domestic and sexual violence had on our communities, which is why I was the first to implement a county attorney family violence and domestic abuse prosecution unit, sexual assault division, and victim witness unit in Minnesota.

I'm no stranger to challenging the status quo in favor of what's just. I took the lead on groundbreaking prosecution of clergy abuse in the 1980s. To combat racial discrimination and promote civil rights, I argued one of the first hate crime cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and I formed the bipartisan Elected Officials for Soviet Jewry to assist the human rights of those prosecuted and detained in the former Soviet Union. Many of the innovative legal initiatives and efforts I championed were later modeled statewide by other prosecutors' offices.

My extensive experience in local, state and federal government — including as deputy commissioner of the state Department of Corrections; as county attorney in both Ramsey and Washington counties; as vice chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission; as director of the Minnesota governor's office in Washington, D.C.; and as a commissioner of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, combined with 20 years of private law practice — cannot be matched by any other candidate. No one is as well-prepared as I am to lead and get to work for all Minnesotans as your next attorney general.

You deserve a strong, compassionate, dedicated public servant as attorney general. That is who I am. I pledge to honor all Minnesotans by working every day with each of you to advance our shared values and to protect our civil rights. I hope you'll join me, and vote Tom Foley for attorney general in the DFL primary on Aug. 14.

Tom Foley is a DFL candidate for Minnesota attorney general.