A Glance at the 2018 State Attorneys General (AG) Election Landscape

On Monday during a press conference that caught many by surprise, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen (D) announced that he will not seek a third term as AG in 2018. AG Jepsen confirmed that he and his family had reached the decision over the Thanksgiving holiday.

AG Jepsen’s announcement is the latest development in what is shaping up to be a very interesting, exciting, and competitive 2018 AG election landscape. Over the last several weeks, there has been a series of noteworthy AG election events. Colorado AG Cynthia Coffman (R) and Nevada AG Adam Laxalt (R) declared that they are running for governor in 2018, thus bringing the total of AGs seeking higher office in 2018 to eight. Just as unexpected as AG Jepsen’s announcement, Illinois AG Lisa Madigan (D) confirmed in October that she would not seek a fifth term as AG in 2018. With 10 AG open seat races on the horizon, and both the Democrat and Republican AG associations terminating their past agreement not to target seats held by incumbents from the other party, we can also expect fundraising to hit historic levels.

As the New Year approaches, and the 2018 election cycle kicks into high gear, we are reminded of the important legal and policy implications that next year’s AG elections will have on the business community.

Below is a quick glance at the 2018 AG election landscape, with the current AGs’ political party affiliation:

  • 31 AG elections
  • 18 Republican and 13 Democratic AG seats in play
  • 10 confirmed open seat races:
    • Colorado (R), Connecticut (D), Delaware (D), Florida (R), Illinois (D), Michigan (R), Nevada (R), Ohio (R), Rhode Island (D), South Dakota (R)
  • 6 AGs are running for governor:
    • Colorado (R), Maine (D), Michigan (R), Nevada, Ohio (R), and South Dakota (R)
  • 2 AGs are running for U.S. Senate:
    • Missouri (R) and West Virginia (R)*

Please continue to check Cozen O’Connor’s State AG Report for the latest news on the 2018 AG State AG elections, as well as a big announcement coming in January 2018…stay tuned!

*The Missouri and West Virginia AG seats are not up for re-election until 2020. Missouri AG Hawley (R) and West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey (R) will remain as AG if they are not elected to the U.S. Senate.

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