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Revision as of 12:01, 21 August 2013

Douglas F. Gansler
AG Gansler at his desk.jpg
Attorney General of Maryland
In office
2006 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 9
PredecessorJ. Joseph Curran, Jr. (D)
Base salary$125,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Campaign $$5,487,104
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
State's Attorney, Montgomery County
1998 – 2006
Bachelor'sYale University
J.D.University of Virginia School of Law
Date of birth1962
Office website
Douglas F. "Doug" Gansler (born October 30, 1962) is a Maryland politician and Attorney General of Maryland. Gansler won the Democratic nomination in the primary election on September 12, 2006 and beat Republican Scott Rolle in the general election on November 7, 2006 with 61.0%.[1] He was re-elected unopposed in the 2010 election, winning 98.18%.[2]

Gansler ran in the 2014 election for Governor of Maryland. Although he has not officially announced, his campaign manager, Carrie Glenn, stated that Gansler would announce in September 2013.[3] Gansler confirmed that he will not seek a third term as attorney general in 2014.[4]

Gansler served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General from 2012-2013.[5]


Shortly after graduating from law school, Gansler worked as a clerk for Judge John C. McAuliffe on the United States Court of Appeals. Admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1989 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1990, he joined the private practice law firms of Coburn & Schertler and Howrey & Simon, remaining there for two years beginning in 1990. From 1992 to 1998, Gansler was an assistant to the United States Attorney General for the District of Maryland. A year later, he served as the State's Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, holding the state governmental position from 1999 to 2007. As State Attorney, he prosecuted several high-profile cases including the Beltway Snipers John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. [6]

Additionally, Gansler has served as a number of other roles including:

  • Member, State's Attorneys' Coordination Council (1999-2007)
  • Vice-Chair, Governor's Task Force on Childproof Guns (1999 - present)
  • Member, Cease Fire Council (2000 - 2003)
  • Member, Task Force on Pedestrian Safety - Montgomery County (2000 - present)
  • Member, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council - Montgomery County (2004 - 2007)
  • Steering Committee, Bi-County Task Force on Gang Activity (2004 - present)
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
  • Member, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
  • Member, Maryland Bar Association
  • Member, Most Valuable Kids
  • Member, Teen Court
  • Member, Washington Regional Alcohol Program


  • Bachelor's degree, Yale University (cum laude)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Virginia School of Law

Political career

Maryland Attorney General (2007-Present)

Gansler has served as Maryland's attorney general since January of 2007, having first won election in Nov. 2006. He was re-elected to a second term by Maryland voters on November 2, 2010.

Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act

On March 11, 2013, Gansler, together with twelve other state attorneys general, sent a letter to Congress in support of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, a bill which would ban for-profit colleges from using federal funds for marketing and recruiting techniques.[7] Sponsored by Senators Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the chamber's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the law aims to “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.”[8] Consumer protection is one of the key duties assigned to the attorney general in each state.

According to the law's text, student enrollment at for-profit degree-issuing institutions such as the University of Phoenix more than doubled between 1998-2008, during which time the federal government--through student financial assistance programs--provided 86 percent of revenues to 15 reviewed publicly traded companies operating these for-profit colleges. A separate analysis of 15 such companies concluded that, on average, 28 percent of all expenditures were on advertising, marketing, and recruiting. Critics, including the attorneys general responsible for the letter advocating the bill's passage, contend that these expenditures are used to deceive consumers about program costs, graduation rates, or their employment potential beyond graduation. The bill seeks to restrict spending of this nature by higher education institutions or other postsecondary educational institution by prohibiting use of federal loans or grants in specific areas, and requiring that all such institutions whose revenues can be traced to federal educational assistance funds "report annually to the Secretary and to Congress the institution's expenditures on advertising, marketing, and recruiting."[7]

In the letter, the attorneys general urged, “Federal taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for aggressive recruiting and deceptive sales tactics of colleges that have placed profits ahead of ensuring student success.”[9] There are an estimated 3,000 for-profit schools nationwide, though neither the letter nor the bill cited the name of a specific institution.[10]


See also: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

The June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by the liberal political organization, ACORN, gave Gansler an A letter grade. The report was published to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," according to the group.[11] The grade distributed to the individual attorneys general "generally broke down along party lines," with the exception of Louisiana's Buddy Caldwell.[12]

Same-sex marriage

On February 25, 2010, Gansler published the opinion that stated that "there is no law in Maryland that says we don't recognize out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples."[13] This, in effect, required state agencies to extend all benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy to married gay couples. At the same time, however, this ruling did not apply to private industries nor did it suggest that state law permits homosexuals to be wed there.

Impeachment attempt

As a result of Gansler's February 2010 legal opinion, in which he argued that state courts must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, an inquiry led by Republican State Delegate Don Dwyer, Jr. was made as to whether or not the Maryland House of Delegates had the authority to impeach the state's attorney general. Dwyer and his supporters argued that the line in Article III of the Maryland State Constitution, in which it states that "the House of Delegates shall have the sole power of impeachment in all cases," gives the state legislative body that power.[14] Others argued, however, that there is a conflict within the state constitution on this particular issue, pointing out another provision that says that the state attorney general "shall be subject to removal for incompetency, willful neglect of duty or misdemeanor in office, on conviction in a Court of Law."

Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch appointed a Democratic delegate as parliamentarian to interpret the rules for the House. In response, Dwyer filed an ethics complaint against Busch for not delegating the position to a staff member, as is done in other legislatures. [15] On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the State House Judiciary Committee voted 15-5 opposing taking such action against Gansler, contending that his legal opinion "did not merit impeachment proceedings."[16]

Montgomery County State's Attorney (1998-2006)

In 1998, Gansler was elected State's Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, serving January 1999 to January 2007. While State's Attorney, he prosecuted several high-profile cases including the Beltway snipers, John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.[17] Under his leadership as State’s Attorney, the office was the first in the nation to fully implement community prosecution.[18] Gansler also launched innovative and successful programs to fight gangs, punish criminals, and protect the public, including the first domestic violence dockets and first drug courts in the county, a first-in-the-state gang prosecution unit, the first Elder Abuse Task Force in Maryland to specifically target criminals preying on seniors, and the first Internet crime unit in the State.[19]

On one occasion during the eight years he served as State’s Attorney, the Maryland Court of Appeals sanctioned him for impermissible public statements about a possible confession and possible plea in a high-profile case involving the brutal beating and murder of a Maryland jogger.[20] He was the first elected State's Attorney to be sanctioned by the court.[21] Legal commentators noted at the time that the Court of Appeals’ controversial decision would have a chilling effect on public safety and the public’s right to know, and that the decision failed to account for prosecutors’ affirmative responsibility to report to the public on the prosecutions they carry out on its behalf.[22][23]



See also: Maryland gubernatorial election, 2014 and Maryland attorney general election, 2014

Gansler ran for Governor of Maryland in 2014, when incumbent Martin O'Malley will be prevented by term-limits from seeking re-election.[24] Gansler's offical announcement for the race is expected for September 2013.[3] Despite being eligible to run for re-election to his current post, Gansler said in a June 1, 2013 statement that he will not seek a third term as attorney general in 2014.[4] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Maryland Attorney General election, 2010

Gansler won re-election as Maryland Attorney General unopposed in the November 2, 2010 general election. He was also unopposed in the primary.[25] [26]

A little over three months after he delivered a legal opinion recognizing "out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples" in Maryland, Gansler made the social-political issue the highlight of his re-election campaign. [13] Unlike any other politician within the state, he was quite vocal in declaring that a "prohibition of gay marriage is a clear violation of equal protection." [27]

Maryland Attorney General, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Gansler Incumbent 98.2% 1,349,962
     Write-Ins Various 1.8% 25,033
Total Votes 1,374,995
Election Results via Maryland State Board of Elections


Gansler won election as Maryland Attorney General in 2006, defeating Republican Scott L. Rolle in the November general election.

Maryland Attorney General, General Election, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Gansler 61% 1,043,458
     Republican Scott L. Rolle 38.9% 665,433
     Write-Ins Various 0.1% 1,948
Total Votes 1,710,839
Election Results via Maryland State Board of Elections

Gansler defeated Stuart O. Simms in the Democratic primary.

Maryland Attorney General, Primary Election, 2006
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Gansler 55.7% 286,016
Stuart O. Simms 44.3% 227,699
Total Votes 513,715
Election Results via Maryland State Board of Elections.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Gansler is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Gansler raised a total of $5,487,104 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 11, 2013.[28]

Doug Gansler's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Attorney General of Maryland Not up for election $1,252,031
2010 Attorney General of Maryland Won $1,819,963
2008 Attorney General of Maryland Not up for election $1,073,836
2006 Attorney General of Maryland Won $1,341,274
Grand Total Raised $5,487,104

2006 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Doug Gansler's donors each year.[29] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

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Gansler currently resides in Maryland with his wife, Laura, and their two sons - Sam and Will. He is also a practicing member of Judaism.[30]


  • Champion of Children Award (2000) from Victims' Rights Foundation
  • Hero Award (2002) from Mothers' Against Drunk Driving
  • Internet Keep Safe Award (2007) from iKeepSafe
  • Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (2009) from Aspen Institute
  • Champion of Online Safety Award (2009) from Stop Internet Predators
  • Innovator of the Year Award (2009) from Daily Record

Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Office of the Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 410-576-6300
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-743-0023

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Maryland State board of elections "Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for Attorney General," accessed on March 5, 2012
  2. Maryland State board of elections "2010 General Election Official Results," accessed on March 5, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 CBS Baltimore, "Doug Gansler To Make Bid For Governor Official In Sept.," June 25, 2013, accessed July 1, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Baltimore Sun, "Democrats watch for Gansler's next move," June 3, 2013
  5. National Association of Attorneys General, "Wisconsin Attorney General Becomes NAAG President," June 20, 2013
  6. The Gazette "Gansler says sniper trial cost less than $2,000" 2 Aug. 2006
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Library of Congress, "Bill Text 113th Congress (2013-2014) S.528.IS," March 12, 2013
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named agsletter
  9. The Boston Globe, "Attorney generals to Congress: Don’t let for-profit colleges use federal grants and loans for advertising," March 17, 2013
  10. Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, "Letter to Congress," March 11, 2013
  11. ACORN "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures" June 2008
  12. Majority in Mississippi "Jim Hood Received An “A” From ACORN In 2008" 17 Sept. 2009
  13. 13.0 13.1 Baltimore Sun "Md. can recognize same-sex marriages" 25 Feb. 2010
  14. Constitution of Maryland - Article III: Legislative Department
  15. Maryland Reporter "Analysis: Is Maryland’s attorney general an unimpeachable source?" 29 March, 2010
  16. The Baltimore Sun "Committee rejects Gansler impeachment effort" 31 March, 2010
  17. Montgomery Gazette "Gansler says sniper trial cost less than $2,000," August 2, 2006
  18. Prosecutor "Implementing Community Prosecution in Montgomery County, Maryland," accessed January 11, 2013
  19. Maryland Office of the Governor, accessed January 11, 2013
  20. Misc. Docket AG No. 81 "Attorney Grievance Commission v. Douglas F. Gansler," accessed March 5, 2012
  21. Daily Record "Montgomery County State's Atty. reprimanded by Court of Appeals," November 13, 2003
  22. MDDC Press News "Public Reporting or Flashy Quotes?," December 2003
  23. The Daily Record "Gansler reprimanded by Court of Appeals," November 11, 2003
  24. Washington Blade, "Exclusive: Mizeur eyeing run for Maryland governor," November 14, 2012
  25. Maryland State Board of Elections - 2010 Primary Election Results
  26. Maryland State Board of Elections - 2010 General Election Results
  27. The Baltimore Sun "Gansler vocal on gay marriage" 2 June, 2010
  28. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Douglas F. Gansler," accessed July 11, 2013
  29. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  30. Project Vote Smart, "Attorney General Douglas 'Doug' F. Gansler's Biography," accessed July 31, 2013

Political offices
Preceded by
J. Joseph Curran
Maryland Attorney General
Succeeded by