Attorney General of Louisiana
The current officeholder is Buddy Caldwell, who was first elected in 2007. Caldwell's victory in 2007 came over Democratic incumbent Charles F. Foti, Jr. and the Republican challenger, Shreveport attorney Royal Alexander. His term ends in 2011. Before becoming attorney general, Caldwell served 26 years as district attorney of Louisiana's 6th Judicial District, centered on the town of Tallulah.
The office of attorney general is established by Article 4, Section 8 of the Louisiana Constitution. The incumbent is granted the authority to intervene in "any civil action or proceeding", to "assist in the prosecution of any criminal case", and to represent the state in any civil or criminal action.
Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 8
|... the attorney general shall have authority (1) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any civil action or proceeding; (2) upon the written request of a district attorney, to advise and assist in the prosecution of any criminal case; and (3) for cause, when authorized by the court which would have original jurisdiction and subject to judicial review, (a) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any criminal action or proceeding, or (b) to supersede any attorney representing the state in any civil or criminal action. The attorney general shall exercise other powers and perform other duties authorized by this constitution or by law."|
Article 4, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution requires that a candidate for attorney general be at least twenty-five years old, a citizen of the United States and Louisiana for the five years preceding election, and permitted to practice law in the state for at least five years.
Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 2
|To be eligible for any statewide elective office, a person, by the date of his qualification as a candidate, shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, be an elector, and have been a citizen of the United States and of this state for at least the preceding five years. In addition, the attorney general shall have been admitted to the practice of law in the state for at least the five years preceding his election. During his tenure in office, a statewide elected official shall hold no other public office except by virtue of his elected office.|
The Louisiana Constitution prescribes that all statewide executive officials, including the attorney general, be elected for a term of four years, and that their term begin "at noon on the second Monday in January next following the election.  Executive officials are elected in years preceding presidential contests (2003, 2007, 2011, etc.).
Term of office
There are no term limits for Louisiana's statewide executive officials other than the governor. Bills have occasionally been introduced into the state legislature to implement such limits, but the latest attempt, in 2010, failed.
The official website of the Louisiana attorney general gives its mission as "to protect the ... State of Louisiana by providing superior legal representation, and interpretation, professional and effective law enforcement, and public education programs."
As chief legal officer of the state, attorney general is also responsible for providing official legal opinions to state agencies, officers and legislators. He may also advise "local political subdivisions," and their offices.
As noted above, the attorney general of Louisiana, under certain conditions, intervenes in civil or criminal cases in state courts, and may represent the state itself in civil or criminal actions.
The Louisiana Department of Justice is divided into the follow divisions:
- Administrative Services - Coordinates the department's budget, legislative affairs and department planning and performance.
- Civil - Provides legal representation to the state, its departments and agencies, boards and commissions, and statewide elected officials.
- Criminal - Assists federal, state and local agencies in the investigation and prosecution of a wide range of criminal matters.
- Executive - Oversees all department operations. Houses the Appellate Section and the Public Information Office.
- Gaming - Serves as legal advisor and legal representative to all Louisiana gaming regulatory agencies.
- Investigations - Provides follow-up investigation services for Criminal Division; responds to requests for investigative assistance from any government agency; and provides investigative services in white collar crime and public corruption.
- Public Protection - Provides legal services in the areas of consumer protection and environmental law, insurance receivership and fair housing.
- Risk Litigation - Represents the Office of Risk Management, the Self-Insurance Fund and the State in all claims covered by the State Self-Insurance Fund, and in all tort claims whether or not covered by the Self-Insurance Fund.
In 2010, the attorney general received compensation in the amount of $115,000.
Per Article 4, Section 16 of the Louisiana Constitution, vacancies in the office of attorney general are filled by first assistant attorney general, unless the length of the unexpired term exceeds one year. In that case, the governor calls a special election to fill the vacancy.
If someone feels a person violated Louisiana's campaign finance laws, the first step is to file a complaint with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.  It is up to the Supervisory Committee of the Ethics Administration Program on a two-thirds vote to approve all investigations. 
Incumbent Buddy Caldwell indicated he would run for re-election after officially switching his allegiance from the Democratic to the Republican Party in February 2011, a move the Louisiana Democratic Party criticized as an opportunistic play for conservative votes. Former U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao declared in he would challenge Caldwell in the October 22 Republican primary.
No Democrats had entered the race as of July 2011, making an uncontested November 8 general election a possibility.
|2007 Race for Attorney General - Primary Election|
|Buddy Caldwell (D)||36%|
|Royal Alexander (R)||32%|
|Charles C. Foti, Jr. (D)||32%|
|2007 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Buddy Caldwell (D)||67%|
|Royal Alexander (R)||33%|
Since becoming a state in 1812, Louisiana has had 44 attorneys general.
Click "show" for former officeholders.
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||François Xavier Martin||1812||1815||Democratic Republican|
|2||Etienne Mazureau||1815||1817||Democratic Republican|
|3||Louis Moreau-Lislet||1817||1819||Democratic Republican|
|4||Thomas B. Robertson||1819||1821||Democratic Republican|
|5||Etienne Mazureau||1821||1824||Clay-Adams Republican|
|6||Isaac Trimble Preston||1824||1828|
|11||Isaac Trimble Preston||1843||1846|
|12||William Augustus Elmore||1846||1850|
|14||Isaac Edward Morse||1854||1856||Democrat|
|15||E. Warren Moise||1856||1860|
|16||Thomas J. Semmes||1860||1864||Democrat|
|18||Andrew S. Herron||1866||1867|
|21||Alexander Pope Field||1873||1876|
|22||William H. Hunt||1876||1876||Republican|
|23||Hiram R. Steele||1876||1877|
|24||Horatio Nash Ogden||1877||1880|
|25||James C. Egan||1880||1884|
|26||Milton J. Cunningham||1884||1888|
|27||Walter Henry Rogers||1888||1892|
|28||Milton J. Cunningham||1892||1900|
|30||Ruffin G. Pleasant||1912||1916||Democrat|
|31||Adolphe V. Coco||1916||1924|
|32||Percy D. Saint||1924||1932|
|33||Gaston L. Porterlie||1932||1939|
|34||James B. Ellison||1939||1939|
|35||Lessley P. Gardiner||1939||1940|
|37||Fred S. LeBlanc||1944||1948|
|38||Bolivar Edwards Kemp, Jr.||1948||1952|
|39||Fred S. LeBlanc||1952||1956|
|40||Jack P.F. Gremillion||1956||1972||Democrat|
|41||William J. Guste||1972||1992||Democrat|
|43||Charles C. Foti, Jr.||2004||2008||Democrat|
|44||James D. "Buddy" Caldwell||2008||Present||Republican|
1885 N. Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
- Buddy Caldwell, Attorney General of Louisiana
- Governor of Louisiana
- Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
- Louisiana Secretary of State
- 'Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 8, accessed May 17, 2011.
- The Times-Picayune, "Attorney General Buddy Caldwell switches to Republican," February 2, 2011.
- 'Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 2, accessed May 17, 2011.
- Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 3, accessed May 17, 2011.
- Louisiana State Legislature</i>, "2010 Regular Session, House Bill 51 (Rep. Simone Champagne, sponsor), accessed May 17, 2011.
- Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "About the Office," accessed May 17, 2011.
- Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "Opinions," accessed May 17, 2011.
- Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "Divisions Overview," accessed May 17, 2011.
- The Book of States<i>, Council of State Governments 2010, accessed May 17, 2010.
- Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 16, accessed May 17, 2011.
- Louisiana Legislature "Louisiana Revised Statutes"(Referenced Statute 18:1511.6(A)-(B) Louisiana Revised Statutes)
- Louisiana Legislature "Louisiana Revised Statutes"(Referenced Statute 18:1511.2(A) 1, Louisiana Revised Statutes)
- Louisiana Legislature "Louisiana Revised Statutes"(Referenced Statute 18:1511.4(A), Louisiana Revised Statutes)
- Real Clear Politics, "Caldwell announces his switch to the GOP," February 2, 2011.