State attorney general

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Party affiliation of current United States attorneys general:
  New Progressive

The state attorney general in each of the 50 U.S. states, of the federal district, or of any of the 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 most prevalent method of selecting a state's 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 popularly 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 the 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 the 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]

Many states have passed term limits limiting the selection to 2 consecutive terms (9 states); 2 terms maximum (4 states), but 33 states still have no term limits.[5]

Defense of the state in federal lawsuits[edit]

State attorney generals enforce both state and federal laws. Because they are sworn to uphold the United States' constitution and laws as well as their own state's, they often decline to defend the state in federal lawsuits.[6]

Current attorneys general[edit]

The current party composition of the state attorneys general is:

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

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 Term limits
Steve Marshall Alabama Republican February 10, 2017 2023 (term limits) University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa 2 consecutive terms
Treg Taylor Alaska Republican January 30, 2021 Appointed Brigham Young University no term limits
Fainu'ulelei Alailima-Utu American Samoa Nonpartisan January 21, 2021 Appointed University of California, Los Angeles
Mark Brnovich Arizona Republican January 5, 2015 2023 (term limits) University of San Diego 2 consecutive terms
Leslie Rutledge Arkansas Republican January 13, 2015 2023 (term limits) University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Rob Bonta California Democratic April 23, 2021 2023 Yale University 2 terms maximum
Phil Weiser Colorado Democratic January 8, 2019 2023 New York University 2 consecutive terms
William Tong Connecticut Democratic January 9, 2019 2023 University of Chicago no term limits
Kathy Jennings Delaware Democratic January 1, 2019 2023 Villanova University no term limits
Karl Racine District of Columbia Democratic January 2, 2015 2023 University of Virginia
Ashley Moody Florida Republican January 9, 2019 2023 University of Florida
Stetson University (LLM)
2 consecutive terms
Chris Carr Georgia Republican November 1, 2016 2023 University of Georgia no term limits
Leevin Camacho Guam Independent January 7, 2019 2023 Boston University
Holly Shikada Hawaii Democratic December 10, 2021 Appointed University of Hawaii, Manoa no term limits
Lawrence Wasden Idaho Republican January 6, 2003 2023 University of Idaho, Moscow no term limits
Kwame Raoul Illinois Democratic January 14, 2019 2023 Illinois Institute of Technology no term limits
Todd Rokita Indiana Republican January 11, 2021 2025 Indiana University, Indianapolis no term limits
Tom Miller Iowa Democratic January 6, 1995 2023 Harvard University no term limits
Derek Schmidt Kansas Republican January 10, 2011 2023 Georgetown University no term limits
Daniel Cameron Kentucky Republican December 17, 2019 2024 University of Louisville 2 consecutive terms
Jeff Landry Louisiana Republican January 11, 2016 2024 Loyola University, New Orleans no term limits
Aaron Frey Maine Democratic January 2, 2019 2023 (Elected by the Legislature) Roger Williams University 4 two year terms
Brian Frosh Maryland Democratic January 6, 2015 2023 Columbia University no term limits
Maura Healey Massachusetts Democratic January 21, 2015 2023 Northeastern University no term limits
Dana Nessel Michigan Democratic January 1, 2019 2023 Wayne State University 2 terms max
Keith Ellison Minnesota Democratic January 7, 2019 2023 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities no term limits
Lynn Fitch Mississippi Republican January 9, 2020 2024 University of Mississippi, Oxford no term limits
Eric S. Schmitt Missouri Republican January 3, 2019 2025 Saint Louis University no term limits
Austin Knudsen Montana Republican January 4, 2021 2025 University of Montana 2 terms in 16-year period
Doug Peterson Nebraska Republican January 8, 2015 2023 Pepperdine University no term limits
Aaron Ford Nevada Democratic January 7, 2019 2023 Ohio State University, Columbus 2 terms max
John Formella New Hampshire Republican April 22, 2021 2025 (Appointed) George Washington University no term limits
Matt Platkin
New Jersey Democratic February 14, 2022 Appointed Stanford University no term limits
Hector Balderas New Mexico Democratic January 1, 2015 2023 (term limits) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 2 consecutive terms
Letitia James New York Democratic January 1, 2019 2023 Howard University no term limits
Josh Stein North Carolina Democratic January 1, 2017 2025 Harvard University no term limits
Drew Wrigley North Dakota Republican February 9, 2022 2023 American University no term limits
Edward Manibusan Northern Mariana Islands Democratic January 13, 2015 2023 Gonzaga University
Dave Yost Ohio Republican January 14, 2019 2023 Capital University 2 consecutive terms
John O'Connor Oklahoma Republican July 23, 2021 2023 University of Tulsa 2 terms max
Ellen Rosenblum Oregon Democratic June 29, 2012 2025 University of Oregon no term limits
Josh Shapiro Pennsylvania Democratic January 17, 2017 2025 Georgetown University 2 consecutive terms
Domingo Emanuelli Puerto Rico[7] New Progressive January 2, 2021 Appointed University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Peter Neronha Rhode Island Democratic January 1, 2019 2023 Boston College 2 consecutive terms
Alan Wilson South Carolina Republican January 12, 2011 2023 University of South Carolina, Columbia no term limits
Mark Vargo South Dakota Republican June 28, 2022 2023 Georgetown University 2 consecutive terms
Jonathan Skrmetti Tennessee Republican October 1, 2014 2030 (Elected by State Supreme Court) Harvard University no term limits
Ken Paxton Texas Republican January 5, 2015 2023 University of Virginia no term limits
Denise George-Counts U.S. Virgin Islands Independent May 14, 2019 Appointed Howard University
Sean Reyes Utah Republican December 30, 2013 2025 University of California, Berkeley no term limits
Susanne Young Vermont Republican July 5, 2022 2023 Vermont Law School no term limits
Jason Miyares Virginia Republican January 15, 2022 2026 College of William and Mary no term limits
Bob Ferguson Washington Democratic January 16, 2013 2025 New York University no term limits
Patrick Morrisey West Virginia Republican January 14, 2013 2025 Rutgers University, Newark no term limits
Josh Kaul Wisconsin Democratic January 7, 2019 2023 Stanford University no term limits
Bridget Hill Wyoming Republican January 7, 2019 Appointed University of Wyoming no term limits

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. ^ "Attorneys General with term limits". Ballotpedia. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ The title of the head of Puerto Rico's Justice Department is the Secretary of Justice, not Attorney General.

External links[edit]