Non sibi sed patriae -- not self, but country -- is a U.S. Navy motto that Powell resident D. Michael Crites said he tries to live by.

Non sibi sed patriae -- not self, but country -- is a U.S. Navy motto that Powell resident D. Michael Crites said he tries to live by.

With that motto as his foundation, the former Olentangy school board member has entered the race for Ohio attorney general. Democrat Marc Dann resigned the post in May after being accused of sexual harassment and other offenses.

Crites, a Republican, said his experience -- including 21 years as a U.S. attorney and prosecutor on the state and local levels -- gives him the skills needed for the job.

"I have a wealth of experience as a prosecutor ... a naval officer ... a managing partner at a law firm, also a United States attorney under President (Ronald) Reagan and President (George) Bush, and administering large offices, and that's exactly what this requires," Crites said in an interview.

On July 23, the Ohio Republican Party's screening committee for selecting an attorney general nominee elected to send Crites' name and nomination to the party's state central committee for approval, said Pat Melton, special assistant to the chair of the Ohio GOP.

The 66-member central committee was to meet Saturday, Aug. 2, to approve Crites' nomination, Melton said.

The screening committee expects a "quick and unanimous approval by the state committee prior to the Aug. 20 deadline for nomination."

If elected, Crites said one of his focuses would be to "restore the integrity of the attorney general's office.

"I see an attorney general's office that for many years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, was recognized as one of the finest in the country," Crites said. "I've seen it fall to the point of where people are ashamed to say they work in the Ohio attorney general's office because of the past 16-18 months under Marc Dann, and that saddens me."

Asked why he took on a challenge that several big-name Republicans passed on, Crites cited the Navy's motto.

"I'm a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. When I walked through the gates of Annapolis the first day -- on the chapel there's the Latin expression. ... (It means) it's important to give back to the community in which you live. Public service is the rent that you pay for the privilege of living in this great nation."

The Democratic Party recently selected state treasurer Richard Cordray as its nominee for attorney general.