Attorney General of Delaware

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Delaware Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $32,227,100
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Delaware Code, 29-25-2502
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Beau Biden.jpg
Name:  Beau Biden
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 2007
Compensation:  $137,425
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Delaware Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSecretary of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources SecretaryLabor SecretaryPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Delaware is a constitutional officer of the state of Delaware, and is the chief law officer and the head of the State Department of Justice.

The attorney general is elected to a four-year term in the "off-year" state election, two years before or after the election of the governor. The office existed in various forms prior to the ratification of the constitution of 1776, which continued the colonial tradition by which the governor appointed the attorney general for a five-year tenure. With the ratification of the constitution of 1897, the attorney general became an elected office held for four year terms. It also established the attorney general as third in line of succession to the office of governor, after the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State.

Current officeholder

The current attorney general is Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III, a Democrat first elected in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Before becoming attorney general, Biden practiced law at a private firm. From 2001 to 2002, he was interim legal advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice in Kosovo, and from 1997 to 2002 he served as a federal prosecutor in the office of the U.S. attorney for Philadelphia. His career in the U.S. Department of Justice began in 1995, when he served as counsel in the Office of Policy Development. Biden holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Syracuse University School of Law. He and his wife, Hallie, have two children.[1]


The office of attorney general is mentioned in the state constitution, but its powers are formally enumerated in statute.[2]

Delaware Code, 29-25-2502

There is created a State Department of Justice under the supervision, direction and control of the Attorney General.


There are no required qualifications for the office of attorney general.


Per Article III, Section 21 of the Delaware Constitution, attorneys general are elected every four years in federal midterm election years (e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, etc.). Traditionally, they are sworn in on the first Tuesday in January in the year after they are elected.

Term limits

Attorneys general do not face any term limits.


If a vacancy occurs in the office of attorney general, the governor appoints a replacement who serves until a new officeholder can be elected. (Delaware Constitution, Article III, Section 9)


The attorney general heads Delaware's Department of Justice, which is empowered to "investigate matters involving the public peace, safety and justice," "direct the activities of state detectives," and "have charge of all criminal proceedings," in the state.[3] The attorney general also serves as chief legal counsel for the Delaware state government and offers advisory opinions to state agencies on request.


  • Civil Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Fraud
  • Administrative[4]

State budget

The budget for the Attorney General's Office in the Fiscal Year 2013 was $32,227,100.[5]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers


In 2012, the attorney general was paid an estimated $143,769. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the attorney general earned compensation in the amount of $137,425.[6] His salary is determined by law.

Campaign finance

Main Article: Campaign finance requirements for Delaware ballot measures

The Attorney General of Delaware is responsible for investigating all campaign finance complaints regardless if it involves civil or criminal laws. All complaints are referred to the Attorney General from the Delaware Commissioner of Elections after the complaint is received by the Commissioner of Elections.

The Attorney General holds all prosecution and investigative powers towards campaign finance complaints. [7]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Attorney General of Delaware has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Contact information


102 W. Water Street
Dover, DE 19904

Criminal Division: 302-739-4211
Civil Division: 302-739-7641
Toll Free Phone: 302-739-1545
Fax: 302-739-7652
E-mail: Attorney.General@State.DE.US

See also

External links