Ten AGs whose time is running out

by John O'Brien |
Aug. 27, 2010, 6:00am

Their time in office is nearly over for 11 state attorneys general around the country. In fact, many of the nation's AGs see their terms expire in early 2011, but those in the following list can definitively say they won't be back. Since articles about the gubernatorial run of California Attorney General Jerry Brown (right) are regular on Legal Newsline, we look at the 10 other AGs who only have a few months left.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is finally resigning his position after almost 20 years on the job, but he has good reason. The Democrat is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd. He leads Republican Linda McMahon in the polls after a brief controversy over falsely claiming he served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Andrew Cuomo used his four years as New York's attorney general as a stepping stone and maintains a huge lead in polls in the state's governor race. The popular Democratic politician formerly served as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton.

Thurbert Baker also aspired to become his state's governor, but the Georgia attorney general couldn't make it out of the Democratic primary earlier this year. Former Gov. Roy Barnes easily won his party's nod in the July primary, and Baker will be replaced by either Republican Sam Olens or Democrat Ken Hodges.

Bill McCollum found out earlier this week that his public service career will be on hold after time runs out on his term as Florida attorney general. The Republican lost his party's primary to businessman Rick Scott on Tuesday. In addition to his four years as AG, McCollum spent 20 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Henry McMaster also lost in a Republican primary for governor in his state. The South Carolina attorney general placed third in a four-candidate race, with state Rep. Nikki Haley gaining nearly half the vote. McMaster endorsed Haley in her runoff election, which she won over Gresham Barrett.

Like Blumenthal, Oklahoma's Drew Edmondson has been his state's attorney general for a considerable period of time. He is at the end of his fourth term. Earlier this summer, though, he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Jari Askins, who beat Edmondson by less than 1 percent.

Michigan's Mike Cox is another attorney general who fell in his party's primary for governor. Cox finished third in a five-way race among Republicans with 23 percent of the vote. Rick Snyder earned the nomination with 36 percent.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard bucked the trend of AGs falling in primaries, but he was also unopposed in the Democratic primary. He's facing current Gov. Jan Brewer, the former secretary of state who became governor when President Barack Obama chose Janet Napolitano as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Rhode Island's Patrick Lynch was geared up to move from attorney general to governor, but he withdrew his name from the Democratic ballot this summer. State General Treasurer Frank Caprio led Lynch in polls and fundraising. Lynch said he didn't want Caprio to endure a costly primary so he is fully focused for the general election.

Unlike the other attorneys general on this list, Alabama's Troy King was content to stay at his current job. However, Luther Strange ruined that plan when he defeated King in the Republican primary this year. King took a hit when he and Gov. Bob Riley disagreed over whose office would determine the legality of electronic bingo games. Riley had appointed King to the office in 2004 but supported Strange in the primary.

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