Attorney General of Iowa

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Iowa Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $15,620,324
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Iowa Constitution, Article 5, Section 12
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Tom Miller.jpg
Name:  Thomas John Miller
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  1979, 1995
Compensation:  $123,669
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Iowa Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSecretary of AgricultureDirector of EducationInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources DirectorLabor CommissionerUtilities Board
The Attorney General of Iowa is head of the state department of justice and chief legal officer of the state. The attorney general represents the state of Iowa and its agencies in court cases, gives legal advice to state agencies and issues written opinions on questions of law submitted by state officials.[1] In Iowa, the attorney general is elected in federal midterm election years to serve four-year terms and does not face term limits.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Tom Miller, a Democrat serving his ninth non-consecutive term. Miller was first elected attorney general in 1978, and held the position for three straight terms. After a one-term hiatus, Miller won back the office in 1994 and has been re-elected every four years since, most recently in 2014.[2]


The Attorney General of Iowa's powers, term of office, etc. are derived from Article V of the Iowa Constitution.

Article V, Section 12:

The general assembly shall provide, by law, for the election of an attorney general by the people...


The attorney general must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Iowa. The number of years one must reside in Iowa to qualify is unspecified.[3]


Iowa state government organizational chart
See also: The State Constitution of Iowa

The attorney general is elected according to the terms laid out in Article 5, Section 12 of the Iowa Constitution:

Article 5, Section 12:

The general assembly shall provide, by law, for the election of an attorney general by the people, whose term of office shall be four years, and until his successor is elected and qualifies.


See also: Iowa attorney general election, 2014
Attorney General of Iowa, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTom Miller Incumbent 56.1% 616,711
     Republican Adam Gregg 43.8% 481,046
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 1,249
Total Votes 1,099,006
Election Results via Iowa Secretary of State.


See also: Iowa Attorney General election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
  • Tom Miller ran unopposed in this contest
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[4]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Tom Miller 55.5%
     Republican Party Brenna Findley 44.4%
     Write-In 0.1%
Total Votes 1,094,633

Term limits

The attorney general is not restricted by term limits.[5]


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that details the process of filling vacancies for a state executive office. That information for the Attorney General of Iowa 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 Attorney General of Iowa heads the Iowa Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is in charge of the representation of the state of Iowa and its officers. The attorney general, "provides legal counsel and direction to the state by participation in cases before the courts where the state has an interest and by formulating written opinions to state officers and county attorneys on questions of state law of public importance." It also represents the state in all criminal and juvenile court appeals, provides training for criminal justice professionals, provides victims' service and represents consumers in utility rate cases.

Every two years, the attorney general must submit a report to the governor about the office and its actions over the last two years.[6]


The office of the attorney general is divided into multiple divisions:

  • Administrative Services Division
  • Area Prosecutions Division
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • Crime Victim Assistance Division

  • Criminal Appeals Division
  • Farm Division
  • Revenue Division
  • Transportation Division

State budget

See also: Iowa state budget and finances

The attorney general's budget for 2012 was $15,620,324.[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected and appointed executives in Iowa are determined by the Iowa State Legislature.[8]


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $123,669, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2013, the attorney general received a salary of $123,669. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2012, the attorney general was paid an estimated $123,669. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2011, the attorney general received a salary of $123,669.[11]

Historical officeholders

There have been 31 distinct Iowa Attorneys General since 1853, including 25 Republicans and six Democrats.[12]

List of Former Officeholders from 1853-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 David C. Cloud 1853-1856 Electiondot.png Democratic
2 Samuel A. Rice 1856-1861 Ends.png Republican
3 Charles C. Nourse 1861-1865 Ends.png Republican
4 Isaac L. Allen 1865-1866 Ends.png Republican
5 Frederick E. Bissell 1866-1867 Ends.png Republican
6 Henry O’Conner 1867-1872 Ends.png Republican
7 Marsena E. Cutts 1872-1877 Ends.png Republican
8 John F. McJunkin 1877-1881 Ends.png Republican
9 Smith McPherson 1881-1885 Ends.png Republican
10 A. J. Baker 1885-1889 Ends.png Republican
11 John Y. Stone 1889-1895 Ends.png Republican
12 Milton Remley 1895-1901 Ends.png Republican
13 Charles W. Mullan 1901-1907 Ends.png Republican
14 Howard W. Byers 1907-1911 Ends.png Republican
15 George Cosson 1911-1917 Ends.png Republican
16 Horace M. Havner 1917-1921 Ends.png Republican
17 Ben J. Gibson 1921-1927 Ends.png Republican
18 John Fletcher 1927-1932 Ends.png Republican
19 Edward L. O’Conner 1932-1937 Electiondot.png Democratic
20 John H. Mitchell 1937-1939 Electiondot.png Democratic
21 Fred D. Everett 1939-1940 Ends.png Republican
22 John M. Rankin 1940-1947 Ends.png Republican
23 Robert L. Larson 1947-1953 Ends.png Republican
24 Leo A. Hoegh 1953-1954 Ends.png Republican
25 Dayton Countrymen 1954-1957 Ends.png Republican
26 Norman A. Erbe 1957-1961 Ends.png Republican
27 Evan l. Hultman 1961-1965 Ends.png Republican
28 Lawrence F. Scalise 1965-1966 Electiondot.png Democratic
29 Richard Turner 1967-1978 Ends.png Republican
30* Tom Miller 1979-1991 Electiondot.png Democratic
31 Bonnie J. Campbell 1991-1994 Electiondot.png Democratic
30* Tom Miller 1995-Present Electiondot.png Democratic

*30th Attorney General Tom Miller (D) appears twice in the above table because he has held the office during nine non-consecutive terms between 1979 - present.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Iowa Attorney General."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Attorney General of Iowa - Google News Feed

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Iowa Attorney General
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: (515) 281-5164
Fax: (515) 281-4209

See also

External links