Attorney General of Michigan

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Michigan Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $89,139,900
Term limits:  2 terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Michigan Constitution, Article V, Section 3, the Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Bill Schuette.JPG
Name:  Bill Schuette
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  2010
Compensation:  $112,410
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Michigan Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of Public InstructionDirector of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources DirectorLabor DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Michigan is an elected constitutional office in the executive branch of the Michigan state government. The attorney general oversees the Office of the Attorney General, which is in charge of prosecuting the laws of the state of Michigan. In Michigan, the attorney general is popularly elected in midterm election years and serves terms lasting four years. Since 1993, the attorney general is limited to two terms in office.[1]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Republican Bill Schuette. He was first elected attorney general in 2010 and won a second term in 2014.[2]


The Michigan Constitution addresses the office of the attorney general in Article V, the Executive Department.

Under Article V, Section 3:

The single executives heading principal departments shall include a secretary of state, a state treasurer and an attorney general...


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that establishes the requirements necessary to qualify for a state executive office. That information for the Attorney General of Michigan 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.


Michigan state government organizational chart

The attorney general is an elected position up for election each alternate even-numbered year. Per the Michigan Constitution of 1963, it is a four-year term of office, and as amended in 1993, there is a two term limit. Originally this was an appointed position until the 1950 State Constitution.



See also: Michigan Attorney General election, 2014
Attorney General of Michigan, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBill Schuette Incumbent 52.1% 1,603,471
     Democratic Mark Totten 44.2% 1,359,839
     Libertarian Justin Altman 1.9% 57,345
     U.S. Taxpayers Gerald T. Van Sickle 1% 30,762
     Green John Anthony La Pietra 0.8% 25,747
Total Votes 3,077,164
Election Results via Michigan Department of State.


2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[3]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Bill Schuette 52.3%
     Democratic Party David Leyton 43.5%
     Libertarian Party Daniel W. Grow 2.3%
     U.S. Taxpayers Gerald Van Sickle 1.9%
Total Votes 3,136,224


2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election[4]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Mike Cox (R) 53.8%
Amos Williams (D) 43.5%
Bill Hall (Libertarian) 1.7%
Charles Conces (UST) 1%
Total votes 3,690,415


2002 Race for Attorney General - General Election[5]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Mike Cox (R) 48.9%
Gary Peters (D) 48.7%
Jerry Kaufman (Green) 1.6%
Gerald Van Sickle (UST) 0.9%
Total votes 3,068,012


Vacancy appointments are addressed under Article V, Section 21.

Whenever the attorney general's office is vacant the governor fills the position by appointment.


The main duties of the attorney general are outlined in the Michigan Compiled Laws:[6]

  • "Prosecute and defend all actions in the supreme court in which the state shall be interested"
  • "Intervene in and appear for the people of this state in any other court or tribunal, in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which the people of this state may be a party or interested"


The attorney general's office is organized into five divisions:[1]

  • Executive Office
  • Consumer & Environmental Protection Bureau
  • Criminal Justice Bureau
  • State Public Administrator
  • Solicitor General Bureau

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Michigan ballot measures

The Attorney General of Michigan is responsible for handling all criminal prosecutions under the state's campaign finance laws.[7] The first step in filing a campaign finance complaint is to file with the Michigan Secretary of State's office. It is up the aecretary of atate to resolve the complaint as the first step before proceeding to civil or criminal prosecution.[7] The secretary of state is responsible for investigating all campaign finance complaints.

State budget

See also: Michigan state budget and finances

The Department of the Attorney General's budget for the 2013 fiscal year was $89,139,900.[8]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The Michigan Constitution allows that the compensation for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general shall be provided by law, and is not to be altered during the term of office. Established under Article IV, Section 12 of the Michigan Constitution, the State Officers Compensation Commission was created to determine the salaries of select public officials. The seven-member, government appointed commission meets every two years. The commission may propose compensation increases, but may only propose a reduction in salary if the proposed amount is equal to or higher than the salary in place when the official took office. Once approved by the legislature, compensation is effective during the legislative session following the subsequent general election.[9]

Article V, Section 23 of the Michigan Constitution:

The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general shall each receive the compensation provided by law in full payment for all services performed and expenses incurred during his term of office. Such compensation shall not be changed during the term of office except as otherwise provided in this constitution.


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $112,410, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2013, the attorney general's salary was estimated at $112,410.[11]


In 2012, the attorney general was paid an estimated $124,900 according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

There have been 54 Attorneys General of Michigan since 1836. From 1836 to 1850, Attorney General of Michigan was an appointed position.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

List of Former Officeholders from 1836-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Daniel LeRoy 1836-1837 appointed
2 Peter Morey 1837-1841 appointed
3 Zephaniah Platt 1841-1843 appointed
4 Elon Farnsworth 1843-1845 appointed
5 Henry N. Walker 1845-1847 appointed
6 Edward Mundy 1847-1848 appointed
7 George V. N. Lothrop 1848-1851 appointed
8 William Hale 1851-1855 Electiondot.png Democratic
9 Jacob M. Howard 1855-1861 Ends.png Republican
10 Charles Upson 1861-1863 Ends.png Republican
12 Albert Williams 1863-1867
13 William L. Stoughton 1867-1868 Ends.png Republican
14 Dwight May 1869-1873 Ends.png Republican
15 Byron D. Ball 1873-1874
16 Isaac Marston 1874 appointed
17 Andrew J. Smith 1875-1877
18 Otto Kirchner 1877-1881
19 Jacob J. Van Riper 1881-1885
20 Moses Taggart 1885-1889 Ends.png Republican
21 Stephen V. R. Trowbridge 1889-1890
22 Benjamin W. Huston 1890-1891
23 Adolphus A. Ellis 1891-1894 Electiondot.png Democratic
24 Fred A. Maynard 1895-1899
25 Horace M. Oren 1899-1903
26 Charles A. Blair 1903-1905 Ends.png Republican
27 John E. Bird 1905-1911 Ends.png Republican
28 Franz C. Kuhn 1911-1913 Ends.png Republican
29 Roger I. Wykes 1912-1913 appointed
30 Grant Fellows 1913-1917 NA
31 Alexander J. Groesbeck 1917-1921 Ends.png Republican
32 Merlin Wiley 1921-1923 NA
33 Andrew B. Dougherty 1923-1926 appointed
34 Clare Retan 1926-1990 NA
35 William W. Potter 1927-1929 Ends.png Republican
36 Wilber M. Brucker 1929-1931 Ends.png Republican
37 Paul W. Voorhies 1931-1933 Ends.png Republican
38 Patrick H. O’Brien 1933-1935 Electiondot.png Democratic
39 Harry S. Toy 1935 NA
40 David H. Crowley 1935-1936 Ends.png Republican
41 Raymond W. Starr 1937-1938 Electiondot.png Democratic
42 Thomas Read 1939-1940 Ends.png Republican
43 Herbert J. Rushton 1941-1944 Ends.png Republican
44 John R. Dethmers 1945-1946 Ends.png Republican
45 Foss O. Eldred 1946 appointed
46 Eugene F. Black 1947-1948 Ends.png Republican
47 Stephen J. Roth 1949-1950 Electiondot.png Democratic
48 Frank G. Millard 1951-1954 Ends.png Republican
49 Thomas M. Kavanagh 1955-1957 Electiondot.png Democratic
50 Paul L. Adams 1958-1961 Electiondot.png Democratic
51 Frank J. Kelley 1961-1998 Electiondot.png Democratic
52 Jennifer M. Granholm 1999-2002 Electiondot.png Democratic
53 Mike Cox 2003-2010 Ends.png Republican
54 Bill Schuette 2010- Ends.png Republican

Recent news

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Attorney General of Michigan - Google News Feed

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Contact Information

110 State Office Building
305 Lundington
Escanaba, MI 49829

Phone: 906-786-0169
Fax: 906-786-6445

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 State of Michigan Attorney General, "About the Office," accessed April 17, 2015
  2. State of Michigan Attorney General, "Biography of Attorney General Bill Schuette," accessed April 17, 2015
  3. Michigan Department of State - 2010 General Election Results
  4. Department of State - 2006 General Election Results
  5. Department of State - 2002 General Election Results
  6. Michigan Compiled Laws, " 14.28 The Attorney General," accessed December 21, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 Michigan Legislature, "Michigan Campaign Finance Act of 1976"(Referenced Statute 169.215(10))
  8. State of Michigan 97th Legislature Regular Session of 2013, "Enrolled House Bill No. 4328," 84," accessed June28, 2013
  9. Michigan Civil Service Commission, “State Officers Compensation Commission,” accessed February 23, 2015
  10. Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed December 2, 2014
  11. Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials:Annual Salaries," accessed January 28, 2014
  12. Biennial Report of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan for the Biennial Period Ending December 31, 2010, "Attorneys General of the State of Michigan," accessed August 9, 2013
  13. Formal Officials of Michigan, "Attorneys General 1836-2003," accessed August 8, 2013
  14. Michgian Bar Association, "Michigan Lawyers in History--Frank J. Kelley: The Eternal General," accessed August 9, 2013
  15. Political Graveyard, "Michigan: State Attorneys General," accessed August 9, 2013 (dead link)
  16. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "HOWARD, Jacob Merritt, (1805 - 1871)," accessed August 9, 2013
  17. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "UPSON, Charles, (1821 - 1885)," accessed August 9, 2013