Attorney General of Virginia
|Virginia Attorney General|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$35,660,544|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Virginia Constitution, Article 5, Section 16|
|Assumed office:||January 11, 2014|
|Next election:||November7, 2017|
|Last election:||November 5, 2013|
|Other Virginia Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Vacancies
- 5 Duties
- 6 Elections
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 Recent news
- 12 Contact information
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
The current officeholder is Mark Herring. He was first elected in 2013.
Article X, Section Y:
|An Attorney General shall be elected by the qualified voters of the Commonwealth at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner...|
Article V, Section 16 of the Virginia Constitution also establishes the qualifications of the office:
|...No person shall be eligible for election or appointment to the office of Attorney General unless he is a citizen of the United States, has attained the age of thirty years, and has the qualifications required for a judge of a court of record...|
- U.S. citizen
- at least 30 years old
- is qualified to be a judge of a court of record in the state
In the event of a vacancy in the office, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the next general election.
The duties and powers of the office of the attorney general include:
- Provide legal advice and representation to the Governor and executive agencies, state boards and commissions, and institutions of higher education. The advice commonly includes help with personnel issues, contracts, purchasing, regulatory and real estate matters and the review of proposed legislation. The Office also represents those agencies in court.
- Provide written legal advice in the form of official opinions to members of the General Assembly and government officials.
- Defend criminal convictions on appeal, and defend the state when prisoners sue concerning their incarceration.
- Defend the constitutionality of state laws when they are challenged in court.
- Enforce state laws that protect businesses and consumers when there are violations. Individual consumer complaints are usually handled by another agency.
- Represent consumers in utility matters before the State Corporation Commission.
- Collect debts owed to state agencies, hospitals and universities.
- Conduct or assist criminal investigations and prosecutions in certain limited cases (for example Medicaid fraud, money laundering, theft of state property, environmental crimes, and computer crimes).
- Represent the Department of Social Services in its efforts to collect child support on behalf of children and families.
- Supervise the appointment and payment of private attorneys hired by other state agencies for various matters.
- Assist victims of crime who are following criminal cases at the appellate level.
- Provide information to the public on Identity Theft prevention and remediation.
- Administer grants to help reduce crimes involving gangs, drugs and sex predators.
- Administer the Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Program to protect children from the most dangerous predators.
A complete list of the duties of the office is outlined in the Virginia state code.
The attorney general is elected every four years at the same time the governor is elected. These elections take place one year after the presidential elections. In Virginia, 2009, 2013 and 2017 are all election years for the attorney general.
According to the state constitution, "There shall be no limit on the terms of the Attorney General."
To view the electoral history dating back to 2001 for the office of Attorney General of Virginia, Click [show] to expand the section.
In Virginia, the State Attorney General is responsible for all disciplinary matters of the state's campaign finance laws. The first step in filing a complaint is to file with the Virginia Board of Elections. The Board of Elections refers all campaign finance complaints to the Virginia Attorney General for prosecution.
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Attorney General of Virginia has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
The budget for the Attorney General's Office and the Department of Law in Fiscal Year 2012 was $35,660,544.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Commonwealth attorneys general (1869-present)
There have been 37 Attorney Generals of Virginia since 1869. Of the 37 officeholders, 11 were Republican, 22 were Democrat, 3 were Conservatives and 1 was Readjuster.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1869-Present|
|2||James Craig Taylor||1870-1874||Conservative|
|3||Raleigh Travers Daniel||1874–1877||Conservative|
|4||James Gavin Field||1877-1882||Conservative|
|5||Francis Simpson Blair||1882–1886||Readjuster|
|6||Rufus Adolphus Ayers||1886– 1890||Democratic|
|7||Robert Taylor Scott||1890–1897||Democratic|
|8||Richard Carter Scott||1897-1898||Democratic|
|9||Andrew Jackson Montague||1898– 1902||Democratic|
|10||William Alexander Anderson||1902– 1910||Democratic|
|11||Samuel Walker Williams||1910–1914||Democratic|
|12||John Garland Pollard||1914–1918||Democratic|
|13||Josiah Dickenson Hank Jr||1918||Democratic|
|14||John Richard Saunders||1918–1934||Democratic|
|16||Harvey Black Apperson||1947-1948||Democratic|
|17||James Lindsay Almond Jr||1948-1957||Democratic|
|18||Kenneth Cartright Patty||1957-1958||Democratic|
|19||Albertis Sydney Harrison Jr||1958–1961||Democratic|
|20||Frederick Thomas Gray||1961- 1962||Democratic|
|21||Robert Young Button||1962–1970||Democratic|
|22||Andrew Pickens Miller||1970–1977||Democratic|
|23||Anthony Francis Troy||1977-1978||Democratic|
|24||John Marshall Coleman||1978–1982||Republican|
|25||Gerald Lee Baliles||1982–1985||Democratic|
|26||William Gray Broaddus||1985-1986||Democratic|
|27||Mary Sue Terry||1986–1993||Democratic|
|28||Stephen Douglas Rosenthal||1993-1994||Democratic|
|29||James Stuart Gilmore III||1994–1997||Republican|
|31||Mark Lawrence Earley||1998-2001||Republican|
|32||Randolph Allen Beales||2001-2002||Republican|
|33||Jerry Walter Kilgore||2002–2005||Republican|
|34||Judith Williams Jagdmann||2005-2006||Republican|
|35||Robert Francis McDonnell||2006–2009||Republican|
|36||William Cleveland Mims||2009-2010||Republican|
|37||Kenneth Thomas Cuccinelli||2010–2014||Republican|
Civil War attorneys general (1861-1869)
Secession government (1861-1865)
John Randolph Tucker was the Democratic attorney general from 1861 to 1865, when Virginia had succeeded in the Civil War.
Restored government (1865-1865)
The era from when the Virginia rejoined the Union states and the end of the Civil War is known as the Restored Government of Virginia. There were two attorneys general in this era: Republican James S. Wheat (1861-1862) and Unionist/Republican Thomas Russell Bowden (1863-1869). Bowden served past the end of the Restored Government.
Commonwealth attorneys general (1776-1857)
There were 8 Attorneys General of Virginia between 1776-1857.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1869-Present|
|5||Philip Norborne Nicholas||1800- 1819||Democratic-Republican|
|7||Sidney Smith Baxter||1834-1852||Democratic|
|8||Willis Perry Bocock||1852- 1857||Democratic|
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Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
- Governor: Terry McAuliffe (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Ralph Northam (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D)
- Auditor of State: Martha Mavredes
- Secretary of State: Levar Stoney (D)
- Commissioner of Agriculture: Sandra J. Adams
- Treasurer of State: Manju Ganeriwala
- Office of the Virginia Attorney General
- Official opinions of the Virginia attorney general
- About the office of the Virginia Attorney General
- Role of the office of the Virginia Attorney General
- Virginia Attorney General, "Responsibilities," accessed February 1, 2012
- Office of the Virginia Attorney General, "Duties ascribed in the Code of Virginia, 7/1/2011," accessed February 1, 2012
- Article V, Section 15 of the state constitution
- Virginia State Constitution, Article 5, Section 15
- Contacted VA Board of Elections on January 26, 2010 to confirm this information
- Virginia Budget Appropriations Database, "Final Budget for the 2010-2012 Biennium," accessed April 4, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," January 31, 2014
- Council of State Governments, "Table 4.11 Selected state administrative officials: Annual salaries by region," accessed February 1, 2012
- Encyclopedia Virginia, "Attorneys General of Virginia," accessed August 5, 2013
State of Virginia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of Public Accounts | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Secretary of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Chairman of State Corporation Commission |