Attorney General elections, 2014

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Along with the position of governor, the only top state executive position that exists in all fifty states is that of attorney general. Of the 50 seats, 43 of those are elected positions with the other 7 being appointed. This year, 30 attorneys general seats are up for election.

Party breakdown

There are currently 26 Democratic attorneys general and 24 Republicans. Of the 43 elected seats, the Republicans hold 22 while the Democrats come close behind at 21. In this election, of the 30 states with attorneys general seats up, 16 are held by Republican while 14 are Democratic. [1]

Alabama

See also: Alabama attorney general election, 2014

Republican Party Incumbent Luther Strange Running

The Alabama attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Luther Strange (R) was first elected in 2010 and will seek re-election in 2014. Strange's main focuses as attorney general have been fighting illegal gambling and fight BP for damages from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His Democratic challenger, state representative Joseph Lister Hubbard, does not look to be in place to unseat Strange in November.[1]

Arizona

See also: Arizona attorney general election, 2014

Republican Party Incumbent Tom Horne Running

Incumbent Tom Horne, a Republican first elected in 2010, lost his bid for renomination in the August 26 Republican primary, creating an open seat race for the general election.[2]

Midway through his first term as attorney general, Horne found himself the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation stemming from an alleged hit and run incident. This blight, in addition to his rumored extra-marital affair with a staffer, led Horne to forgo his long-anticipated gubernatorial campaign in favor of seeking another term in his current post.[3] These scandals led Governing to rate Arizona's attorney general seat as "vulnerable" to partisan switch in the 2014 elections.

Horne's controversy-riddled first term gave way to the incumbent's six point ousting by sole Republican challenger Mark Brnovich in the party's primary. Brnovich, the former Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, faces 2010 Arizona Gubernatorial nominee and Assistant Attorney General Felecia Rotellini in the general election on November 4, 2014.[2]

Although Arizona tends to vote Republican, especially at the state level, Democrats placed considerable hopes in Rotellini early on in the election season. Rotellini's background as superintendent of the state Department of Financial Institutions bodes well for as a fundraiser and thus her chances in the race to succeed Horne as Arizona's chief legal official.[3]

Arkansas

Democratic Party Incumbent Dustin McDaniel Term limited

See also: Arkansas attorney general election, 2014

In December 2013, Arkansas' attorney general race was given its second consecutive "toss-up" rating by Governing. In March 2013, the open seat - held by term limited Democrat Dustin McDaniel - was first rated as "vulnerable" to partisan switch in the 2014 elections based on predictions that McDaniel's personal issues would cause a substantial number of fed-up voters to reevaluate their usual choosing methods as well as the merits of electing a Republican attorney general next time around. Shortly before the March rating came out, McDaniel was exposed for philandering for the second time in his attorney general tenure. The scandal forced him to end a long-anticipated campaign for the governor's office, which is open in 2014 due to incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe having also reached his term limit.[4]

Five candidates - three Republican, one Democratic and one Libertarian - filed for the election to replace McDaniel. A primary was held on May 20 to decide which of the three Republican hopefuls would move on to the general election with the party's nomination. It was a close contest between the race's two Little Rock lawyers, Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling, neither of whom received a sufficient share of the vote to avoid a primary runoff election on June 10.

Rutledge and Sterling both ran on their legal resumes and previous efforts made on behalf of the Republican Party and its interests. Rutledge has claimed she is the more qualified candidate because she is “the only one with experience fighting crime, the only one with experience fighting the overreaching federal government.” Sterling, meanwhile, claims his federal court experience makes him the superior candidate, touting his ample courtroom experience. “The AG’s office is essentially Arkansas’ largest law firm, and I think that the voters want a serious and responsible and experienced attorney leading that law firm,” Sterling said.[5]

Rutledge ultimately defeated Sterling in the Republican primary runoff, earning over 58 percent of the vote.[6] She will face unopposed Democratic nominee Nate Steel and Libertarian Aaron Cash in the general election on November 4.

California

Democratic Party Incumbent Kamala D. Harris Running

See also: California attorney general election, 2014

The California attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Kamala D. Harris (D) was first elected in 2010 and is eligible to run for re-election. Harris's challenger in the general election, Republican attorney Ronald Gold, does not look to be in place to unseat Harris in November.[1]

Colorado

Republican Party Incumbent John W. Suthers Term limited

See also: Colorado attorney general election, 2014

Originally appointed in 2005 to fill a vacancy in the office, current Republican Colorado Attorney General John Suthers went on to win two full terms in 2006 and 2010. He is barred by term limits from running for a third consecutive term, leaving the attorney general seat open in the 2014 elections.

The seat was first marked as "vulnerable" to partisan switch in a March 2013 report Governing put together about the 2013-2014 attorney general elections.[7] In December, the same publication rated the race a "Tossup." Out of a total of 30 attorney general seats up for election nationwide in 2014, only four received this rating, including Colorado. The others were Arizona, Arkansas and Wisconsin.[8] Against the backdrop of Colorado's "purple" partisan landscape, statewide races, especially for open seats, are flagged as competitive early on because of the potential to entice major party organizations and private sector interests—eager to gain or maintain control of key government posts—to get involved in the campaigns.

In this case, Democratic Party forces have placed their faith and money in the campaign of Don Quick, a career prosecutor whom Governing called "a strong contender to flip the seat."[7] Quick previously served as District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, which includes Adams County, and spent six years as deputy attorney general under Suthers' predecessor, Democrat Ken Salazar.[9][10]

Also vying to succeed Suthers as Colorado's chief legal officer is Republican contender Cynthia Coffman. Coffman currently serves as chief deputy under Suthers. Coffman's husband, Mike Coffman (R), is a three-term U.S. Rep. from Colorado's 6th Congressional District and a former Colorado Secretary of State.[11][10] Like Quick, she has the connections and access to deep pockets necessary for running a legitimate statewide campaign.

Quick and Coffman were uncontested for their respective parties' nominations in the June 24 primary and advanced automatically to the general election. Libertarian attorney and party activist David K. Williams is the only third party candidate on the November ballot.

Connecticut

Democratic Party Incumbent George C. Jepsen Running

See also: Connecticut attorney general election, 2014

The Connecticut attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent George C. Jepsen (D) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. In his first term, Jepsen has focused on privacy, bank foreclosure practices and utility regulation. Jepsen's challenger, Republican Kie Westby, does not look to be in place to unseat Jepsen in November.[1]

Delaware

Democratic Party Incumbent Beau Biden Not running

See also: Delaware attorney general election, 2014

The Delaware attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Beau Biden (D) was first elected in 2006 and, although he is eligible to run for re-election in 2014, is instead seeking a higher office. The current Democratic Delaware Lieutenant Governor, Matthew Denn looks to be in a good position to defeat Republican challenger, attorney Ted Kittila, this November.[1]

Florida

Republican Party Incumbent Pam Bondi Running

See also: Florida attorney general election, 2014

The Florida attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Pam Bondi (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. In the latest polls, she is leading the top Democratic candidate, George Sheldon, by 3-7 points.

Georgia

Republican Party Incumbent Samuel S. Olens Running

See also: Georgia attorney general election, 2014

The Georgia attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Samuel S. Olens (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. Olens Republican challenger, former state senator Greg Hecht does not look to be in place to unseat Olens in November.[1]

Idaho

Republican Party Incumbent Lawrence Wasden Running

See also: Idaho attorney general election, 2014

The Idaho attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lawrence Wasden (R) was first elected in 2002 and is running for re-election. Wasden easily won the Republican primary and his Democratic challenger, Bruce Bistline does not look to be in place to unseat Waden in November.[1]

Illinois

Democratic Party Incumbent Lisa Madigan Running

See also: Illinois attorney general election, 2014

The Illinois attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lisa Madigan (D) was first elected in 2002 and is running for re-election.

Iowa

Democratic Party Incumbent Tom Miller Running

See also: Iowa attorney general election, 2014

The Iowa attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Tom Miller (D) was first elected in 1978 and is running for re-election. In his ninth race for the seat, his challenger, Republican Adam Gregg, does not look to be in place to unseat Miller in November.[1]

Kansas

Republican Party Incumbent Derek Schmidt Running

See also: Kansas attorney general election, 2014

The Kansas attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Derek Schmidt (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. The Democratic challenger, A.J. Kotich, does not look to be in place to unseat Schmidt in November.[1]

Maryland

Democratic Party Incumbent Doug Gansler Not running

See also: Maryland attorney general election, 2014

The Maryland attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Doug Gansler (D) was first elected in 2006 and although eligible for re-election, choose to run for election to the gubernatorial seat. The Democratic primary winner, state senator Brian Frosh appears to be in a good place to defeat Republican Jeffrey Pritzker and Libertarian Leo Wayne Dymowski in November.[1]

Massachusetts

Democratic Party Incumbent Martha Coakley Not running

See also: Massachusetts attorney general election, 2014

The Massachusetts attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. First elected in 2006, incumbent Martha Coakley (D) opted to run for Governor of Massachusetts rather than seek re-election to her current post.[12][1]

Michigan

Republican Party Incumbent Bill Schuette Running

See also: Michigan attorney general election, 2014

The Michigan attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Bill Schuette (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. Based on polls, the Democratic challenger, Mark Totten, does not look to be in place to unseat Schuette in November.[1]

Minnesota

Democratic Party Incumbent Lori Swanson Running

See also: Minnesota attorney general election, 2014

The Minnesota attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lori Swanson (D) was first elected in 2006 and is running for re-election. Swanson appears to be in a good place to win the general election in November, holding onto the seat Republicans have not had in decades.[1]

Nebraska

Republican Party Incumbent Jon Bruning Not running

See also: Nebraska attorney general election, 2014

The Nebraska attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Jon Bruning (R) was first elected in 2002 and, although eligible to run for re-election, choose to seek the gubernatorial seat. Doug Peterson, the winner of May's Republican primary, should be able to defeat Democratic challenger Janet Stewart in November.[1]

Nevada

Democratic Party Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto Term limited

See also: Nevada attorney general election, 2014

The Nevada attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) was first elected in 2006 and is ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits. Instead, Democratic candidate Ross Miller will face Republican Adam Paul Laxalt in the general election.

New Mexico

Democratic Party Incumbent Gary King Not running

See also: New Mexico attorney general election, 2014

The New Mexico attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Gary King (D) was first elected in 2006 and, although eligible to run for re-election, decided to pursue the gubernatorial seat. Current New Mexico Auditor, Democrat Hector Balderas, will face Republican Susan Riedel in the general election.

New York

Democratic Party Incumbent Eric Schneiderman Running

See also: New York attorney general election, 2014

The New York attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Eric Schneiderman (D) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. Schneiderman looks to be safe from a competitive challenge in the November election.[1]

North Dakota

Republican Party Incumbent Wayne Stenehjem Running

See also: North Dakota attorney general election, 2014

The North Dakota attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Wayne Stenehjem (R) was first elected in 2000 and is running for re-election. Democratic challenger, attorney Kiara Kraus-Parr does not look to be in place to unseat Stenehjem in November.[1]

Ohio

Republican Party Incumbent Mike DeWine Running

See also: Ohio attorney general election, 2014
See also: Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Ohio#2013

The Ohio attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mike DeWine (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election.[1] Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine faces a single challenger, Democrat David Pepper, in the 2014 general election for Ohio Attorney General. Both candidates were unopposed in the primary.

The Columbus Dispatch, in a review of the candidates, opined that, "The DeWine-Pepper clash has been the most spirited of statewide campaigns other than the gubernatorial race."[13] In late August, the Ohio GOP released a poll showing DeWine leading Pepper 60 to 31 while the Ohio Democratic Party withheld their poll results for the attorney general's race, leading to speculation that their numbers for Pepper were similarly poor.[14] Yet the fact that the Ohio GOP commissioned a poll specifically for the attorney general race, coupled with recent efforts to attack David Pepper, indicate that the race isn't over yet.

Issues and ads in the campaign

See also: Ohio attorney general election, 2014

Some Democrats expect Pepper to close the gap quickly as he starts running ads.[14] In late September, the DeWine campaign began airing ads in response to an ad by left-leaning advocacy group Moving Ohio Forward attacking DeWine. Republicans have criticized Pepper for allegedly collecting a large number of parking fines and for not completing continuing legal education requirements.[14] Democrats, in turn, have charged that DeWine has not adequately dealt with the Ohio's heroin problem, violence against women, or school safety.[13]

Minor party legislation

See also: Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Ohio

In late 2013, Ohio passed two laws that allegedly restrict minor parties' participation in the 2014 elections. The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed lawsuits against both laws, the outcomes of which could alter the candidate landscape of this race.[15] In the event, many minor party candidates failed to qualify for the general election, including the former Libertarian Party candidate for attorney general, Steven R. Linnabary.

Oklahoma

Republican Party Incumbent Scott Pruitt Running

See also: Oklahoma attorney general election, 2014

The Oklahoma attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Scott Pruitt (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election.[16][1]

Rhode Island

Democratic Party Incumbent Peter Kilmartin Running

See also: Rhode Island attorney general election, 2014

The Rhode Island attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Peter Kilmartin (D) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election.[17][1]

South Carolina

Republican Party Incumbent Alan Wilson Running

See also: South Carolina attorney general election, 2014

The South Carolina attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Alan Wilson (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for re-election. Democratic challenger, attorney Parnell Diggs, does not look to be in place to unseat Wilson in November.[1]

South Dakota

Republican Party Incumbent Marty J. Jackley Running

See also: South Dakota attorney general election, 2014

The South Dakota attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Marty J. Jackley (R) was first appointed in 2009 and is running for re-election.[1]

Texas

Republican Party Incumbent Greg Abbott Not running

See also: Texas attorney general election, 2014

After the primary on March 4, Republican lobbyists began to pressure the three second-place candidates involved in run-offs to drop out of their respective races and decide the Republican nominations early. Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas Representative Dan Branch, second-place finishers for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General respectively, refused to do so and said that they would continue campaigning. The second-place Republican running for Comptroller, however, dropped out, reducing the number of Republican run-offs to two.[18]

Runoff ad controversy

The runoff between Dan Branch and Ken Paxton became the focus of controversy in late May when a Virginia non-profit, American Dream Initiative, began to run television advertisements against Paxton without disclosing its funding or backers. The ad highlighted a recent fine levied against Paxton by the Texas State Securities Board for improper investment-related registration and disclosure. The Paxton campaign alleged that the $532,000 ad campaign demonstrated collusion with the Branch campaign that violated federal election laws. The Branch campaign denied breaking either federal or state election laws.[19]

Vermont

Democratic Party Incumbent Bill Sorrell Running

See also: Vermont attorney general election, 2014

The Vermont attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Bill Sorrell (D) was first appointed in 1997 and is running for re-election.[1]

Wisconsin

Republican Party Incumbent J.B. Van Hollen Running

See also: Wisconsin attorney general election, 2014

The Wisconsin attorney general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent J.B. Van Hollen (R) was first elected in 2006 and although eligible to run for re-election, will not be seeking a third term.[20] The general election ballot includes Susan Happ (D), Brad Schimel (R) and independent candidate Thomas Nelson.

Additional reading

See also

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Not Vulnerable?" March 21, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 abc15.com, "Arizona Election Results," accessed August 27, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Vulnerable?," March 25, 2013
  4. Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Vulnerable?," March 25, 2013
  5. Arkansas News, "GOP attorney general hopefuls to face off in Tuesday’s runoff election," June 7, 2014
  6. newsobserver.com, "Rutledge wins GOP nomination for attorney general," June 10, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Vulnerable?," March 25, 2013
  8. Governing, "What's Ahead for the Attorney General Races in 2014?," December 19, 2013
  9. Broomfield Democrats, "17th J.D. District Attorney: Don Quick ," accessed February 13, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Denver Post, "Democrat Don Quick, former DA, to run for Colorado attorney general," February 12, 2013
  11. Cynthia Coffman for Colorado Attorney General 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed September 3, 2013
  12. The Boston Globe, Political Intelligence, "Martha Coakley launches bid for governor with handshakes and a video," September 16, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Columbus Dispatch, "Attorney general candidates DeWine, Pepper are vastly different," September 21, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Cleveland.com, "Republican poll forecasts landslide for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. So why is the GOP pecking away at Democrat David Pepper?" August 27, 2014
  15. The Columbus Dispatch, "Federal judge suspends Ohio law concerning who can collect petition signatures," January 3, 2014
  16. Tulsa World, "Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to seek re-election," July 29, 2013
  17. OnPolitix, "Kilmartin intends to run for re-election," February 20, 2013
  18. Texas Tribune, "Lobbyist: Efforts Afoot to Get Candidates to Drop Out," March 10, 2014
  19. Austin American-Statesman, "Out-of-state ad roils Texas attorney general race," May 22, 2014
  20. Wis Politics, AG Van Hollen: Van Hollen will not seek re-election, October 7, 2013