State attorney general

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Party affiliation of current United States attorneys general:
  Democratic Attorney General
  Republican Attorney General
  Independent Attorney General
  New Progressive Attorney General

The state attorney general in each of the 50 U.S. states and territories is the chief legal advisor to the state government and the state's chief law enforcement officer. In some states, the attorney general serves as the head of a state department of justice, with responsibilities similar to those of the United States Department of Justice.

The current party composition of the state attorneys general are:

The composition for the District of Columbia and 5 populated territories are:


The most prevalent method of selecting a state attorney general is by popular election. 43 states have an elected attorney general.[1] Elected attorneys general serve a four-year term, except in Vermont, where the term is two years.[2]

Seven states do not elect an attorney general. In Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming, the attorney general is a gubernatorial appointee.[1] The attorney general in Tennessee is appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court for an eight-year term.[1][2] In Maine, the attorney general is elected by the state Legislature for a two-year term.[1][2]

The District of Columbia and two U.S. territories, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, elect their attorneys general for a four-year term. 2014 marked the first year that the District of Columbia and Northern Mariana Islands held an election for the office. In American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the attorney general is appointed by governor.[3] In Puerto Rico, the attorney general is officially called the secretary of justice, but is commonly known as the Puerto Rico attorney general.[4]

Defense of the state in federal lawsuits[edit]

State attorneys general enforce both state and federal laws. Because they are sworn to uphold the United States' constitution and laws as well as the state's, they often decline to defend the state in federal lawsuits.[5]

Current attorneys general[edit]

List of attorneys general by U.S. states and territories:

Rows of the Attorney General table below are color coded indicating the political party of the office holder.

Officeholder State Party Assumed office Term expires Law School
Steve Marshall Alabama Republican February 10, 2017 2023 University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Jahna Lindemuth Alaska Independent August 8, 2016 Appointed University of California, Berkeley
Talauega Ale American Samoa Democratic January 28, 2014 Appointed Drake University
Mark Brnovich Arizona Republican January 5, 2015 2023 University of San Diego
Leslie Rutledge Arkansas Republican January 13, 2015 2023 University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Xavier Becerra California Democratic January 24, 2017 2023 Stanford University
Cynthia Coffman Colorado Republican January 11, 2015 2019 Georgia State University
George Jepsen Connecticut Democratic January 5, 2011 2019 Harvard University
Matt Denn Delaware Democratic January 6, 2015 2019 Yale University
Karl Racine District of Columbia Democratic January 2, 2015 2023 University of Virginia
Pam Bondi Florida Republican January 4, 2011 2019 Stetson University
Chris Carr Georgia Republican November 1, 2016 2023 University of Georgia
Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson Guam Republican January 5, 2015 2019 Santa Clara University
Russell Suzuki Hawaii Democratic February 2, 2018 Appointed by Governor Ohio State University, Columbus
Lawrence Wasden Idaho Republican January 6, 2003 2023 University of Idaho, Moscow
Lisa Madigan Illinois Democratic January 13, 2003 2019 Loyola University, Chicago
Curtis Hill Indiana Republican January 9, 2017 2021 Indiana University, Bloomington
Tom Miller Iowa Democratic January 6, 1995 2023 Harvard University
Derek Schmidt Kansas Republican January 10, 2011 2023 Georgetown University
Andy Beshear Kentucky Democratic January 4, 2016 2020 University of Virginia
Jeff Landry Louisiana Republican January 11, 2016 2023 Loyola University, New Orleans
Janet Mills Maine Democratic January 7, 2011 2019 (Elected by the Legislature) University of Maine, Portland
Brian Frosh Maryland Democratic January 6, 2015 2023 Columbia University
Maura Healey Massachusetts Democratic January 21, 2015 2023 Northeastern University
Bill Schuette Michigan Republican January 1, 2011 2019 University of San Francisco
Lori Swanson Minnesota Democratic January 2, 2007 2019 William Mitchell College
Jim Hood Mississippi Democratic January 14, 2004 2020 University of Mississippi, Oxford
Josh Hawley Missouri Republican January 9, 2017 2019 Yale University
Tim Fox Montana Republican January 7, 2013 2021 University of Montana
Doug Peterson Nebraska Republican January 8, 2015 2023 Pepperdine University
Adam Laxalt Nevada Republican January 5, 2015 2019 Georgetown University
Gordon MacDonald New Hampshire Republican April 13, 2017 2021 Cornell University
Gurbir Grewal New Jersey Democratic January 16, 2018 Appointed College of William and Mary
Hector Balderas New Mexico Democratic January 1, 2015 2023 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Barbara Underwood New York Democratic May 8, 2018 2019 Georgetown University
Josh Stein North Carolina Democratic January 1, 2017 2021 Harvard University
Wayne Stenehjem North Dakota Republican December 15, 2000 2023 University of North Dakota
Edward Manibusan Northern Mariana Islands Democratic January 13, 2015 2023 Gonzaga University
Mike DeWine Ohio Republican January 10, 2011 2019 Ohio Northern University
Mike Hunter Oklahoma Republican February 20, 2017 2023 University of Oklahoma
Ellen Rosenblum Oregon Democratic June 29, 2012 2021 University of Oregon
Josh Shapiro Pennsylvania Democratic January 17, 2017 2021 Georgetown University
Wanda Vázquez Garced Puerto Rico[6] New Progressive/
January 2, 2017 2021 (Appointed) Interamerican University, San Juan
Peter Kilmartin Rhode Island Democratic January 4, 2011 2019 Roger Williams University
Alan Wilson South Carolina Republican January 12, 2011 2023 University of South Carolina, Columbia
Marty Jackley South Dakota Republican September 4, 2009 2019 University of South Dakota, Vermillion
Herbert Slatery Tennessee Republican October 1, 2014 2022 (Appointed) University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Ken Paxton Texas Republican January 5, 2015 2023 University of Virginia
Claude Walker U.S. Virgin Islands Independent August 6, 2015 Appointed Union University, New York
Sean Reyes Utah Republican December 30, 2013 2021 University of California, Berkeley
T. J. Donovan Vermont Democratic January 5, 2017 2021 Suffolk University
Mark Herring Virginia Democratic January 11, 2014 2022 University of Richmond
Bob Ferguson Washington Democratic January 16, 2013 2021 New York University
Patrick Morrisey West Virginia Republican January 14, 2013 2021 Rutgers University, Newark
Brad Schimel Wisconsin Republican January 5, 2015 2019 University of Wisconsin, Madison
Peter Michael Wyoming Republican July 9, 2013 Appointed University of Wyoming

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Moretto, Mario (January 23, 2015). "LePage sheds light on plan to strip Legislature of power to elect attorney general, treasurer". Bangor Publishing Company. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Elections for Attorney General to Take Place in 30 States". National Association of Attorneys General. National Association of Attorneys General. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "2014 State and Territorial Attorneys General Election Results". National Association of Attorneys General. National Association of Attorneys General. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "AG Spotlight: New Attorneys General". National Association of Attorneys General. National Association of Attorneys General. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Phillips, Amber (May 15, 2016). "Is it legal for North Carolina's attorney general to not defend the state's bathroom law?". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  6. ^ The title of the head of Puerto Rico's Justice Department is the Secretary of Justice, not Attorney General.

External links[edit]