Orrick’s 2022 State Attorney General Election Preview

Originally published February.02.2022 | May.27.2022

It will be a busy election year in 2022 for state Attorneys General (AGs) with races in 31 of the 43 states with elected AGs, including the District of Columbia (which we count among the states in this report). The Orrick State Attorney General Team’s election preview provides a snapshot of the races in 2022, including the current slate of candidates.

Currently, there are 27 Republican AGs and 24 Democratic AGs. In 2022, elections will be held in 14 states with Republican AGs and 16 states with Democratic AGs. The following states will likely be “in play” (toss-up, lean Democratic, or lean Republican): Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin. In those states, there are presently 5 Democratic AGs and 3 Republicans.

The Orrick State AG Team will provide timely election updates, including reports on key primary elections throughout the spring and summer. In the fall, we’ll provide a final pre-election update and after the November election, we’ll provide a post-election report and analysis.

State Attorneys General control map

Alabama

  • Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) was first appointed to this position in 2017 and was elected in 2018 with 58.8 percent of the vote. Attorney General Marshall is seeking reelection in 2022. There are currently no other candidates. Alabama is traditionally a strong Republican state and will likely remain that way in 2022.

Arizona

  • Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) is finishing his second term and is term limited under Arizona law. General Brnovich has announced that he is running for U.S. Senate to challenge Senator Mark Kelly. The open AG seat is garnering significant interest, with six Republicans expressing strong interest and three of those already running. Although Arizona leans Republican, Arizona will likely be in play in 2022 and is one of the AG races to watch.
  • The primary election will be held on August 2, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Kris Mayes (former state Corporation Commission member)

Republican Candidates
Lacy Cooper (former Assistant U.S. Attorney)
Rodney Glassman (former Democrat who challenged Sen. McCain in 2010)
Andrew Gould (former Arizona Supreme Court Justice)
Dawn Grove (former Tucson City Councilmember)
Abraham Hamadeh (former deputy county prosecutor)
Tiffany Shedd (former U.S. House candidate)

Arkansas

  • Like Attorney General Brnovich, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) is finishing her second term, is term limited, and is seeking another statewide office. General Rutledge is running for lieutenant governor. Currently, there are two Republicans and one Democrat running to succeed her. Arkansas has become a more solid Republican state and will remain Republican in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on June 21, 2022.

Democrat Candidate
Jesse Gibson (trial lawyer)

Republican Candidates
Tim Griffin (Lt. Governor, former U.S. House member, former U.S. Attorney)
Leon James (executive director of State housing commission)

California

  • Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) is up for election. Bonta was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and was sworn in on April 23, 2021, after Attorney General Xavier Becerra was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. California is traditionally a strong Democratic state and will remain so in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on June 7, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Steven Bailey (retired Superior Court judge)
Eric Early (former U.S. House candidate)
Nathan Hochman (former Assistant U.S. Attorney)

Independent Candidate
Anne Marie Schubert (Sacramento County District Attorney)

Green Party
Daniel Kapelovitz (criminal defense and animal rights attorney)

Colorado

  • Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) was first elected in 2018 with 51.6 percent of the vote. Last week, District Attorney John Kellner (R) announced his candidacy to challenge General Weiser in the November elections.

Republican Candidate
John Kellner (District Attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, Marine Corps Veteran)

Connecticut

  • Attorney General William Tong (D) was first elected in 2018 with 52.5 percent of the vote and is running for reelection. He currently is unopposed. Connecticut is traditionally a strong Democratic state and will remain so in 2022.

Delaware

  • Attorney General Kathy Jennings (D) was first elected in 2018 with 61.3 percent of the vote and is running for reelection. Currently, there are two Republican candidates. Delaware is a strong Democratic state and will remain so in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on September 13, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Julianne Murray (former gubernatorial candidate)

Florida

  • Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) was first elected in 2018 with 52.1 percent of the vote and is running for reelection. Currently, there is one Democrat running to oppose her. Florida has become a stronger Republican state and will likely remain that way in 2022.

Democrat Candidate
Aramis Ayala (civil rights attorney and former Florida State Attorney)
Daniel Uhlfelder (trial attorney)

Georgia

  • Attorney General Chris Carr (R) was first elected in 2018 with 51.3 percent of the vote and is running for reelection. General Carr defeated Trump-back Republican candidate John Gordon, 74% to 26%. Georgia traditionally has leaned Republican, however, recently it has become more of a toss-up state. General Carr will face Democratic opponent, Jen Jordan. Georgia will be one of the key states to watch in 2022.

Democrat Candidate
Jen Jordan
(State Senator)

Idaho

  • Former Republican U.S. Representative Raul Labrador defeated Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R) in the primary election on May 17, 2022. General Wasden was first elected in 2002. There are no Democratic candidates and Idaho is a strong Republican state; therefore, the winner of the primary will likely be the next attorney general.

Republican Candidates
Raul Labrador (former U.S. Representative)

Democratic Candidates
No candidates

Illinois

  • Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) was first elected in 2018 with 54.7 percent of the vote and is running for reelection. Illinois is a strong Democratic state and will likely remain that way in 2022.

Republican Candidates
Thomas Devore (attorney)
David Shestokas (attorney)

Iowa

  • Attorney General Tom Miller (D) was first elected in 1978 and is running for reelection in 2022. He was re-elected in 2018 with 76.5 percent of the vote, up from 56.1 percent in 2014. Currently, he faces one Republican challenger. Iowa is becoming a stronger Republican state, but AG Tom Miller has held his office as a Democrat despite the rise of the Republican Party in that state.

Republican Candidate
Brenna Bird
(County Attorney)

Kansas

  • Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) was first elected in 2010 and is not seeking reelection in 2022 but is running for governor instead. Currently, one Democratic candidate and three Republican candidates are running to succeed AG Schmidt. Despite Kansas electing a Democrat Governor in 2018, Kansas is traditionally a strong Republican state and will likely remain that way in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on August 2, 2022.

Democrat Candidate
Chris Mann
(former deputy county prosecutor)

Republican Candidates
Kris Kobach
(former Secretary of State)
Tony Mattivi
(former Assistant U.S. Attorney)
Kellie Warren
(State Senator)

Maryland

  • Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) was first elected in 2014 and is not seeking reelection in 2022. Currently, two Democratic candidates and one Republican candidate are running to succeed him.
  • The primary election will be held on June 28, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Anthony Brown (U.S. Representative and former Lt. Governor)
Katie O’Malley (retired district court judge and former First Lady of Maryland)

Republican Candidate
Jim Shalleck (former prosecutor and former NY Assistant AG)
Michael Anthony Peroutka (attorney)

Massachusetts

  • Attorney General Maura Healey (D), first elected in 2014, is not seeking reelection. She has announced that she is running for governor instead. Currently, there are two Democratic candidates for AG and no announced Republican candidates. Massachusetts is a strong Democratic state and will likely remain that way in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on September 20, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Andrea Campbell (attorney)
Shannon Liss-Rioridan (trial lawyer, former U.S. Senate candidate)
Quentin Palfrey (former Assistant AG and candidate for Lt. Governor)

Republican Candidate
Jay McMahon (trial attorney)

Michigan

  • Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) was first elected in 2018 with 49 percent of the vote and is running for reelection in 2022. Currently, there are two Republican candidates and one Independent who is also running. Michigan has for several election cycles been a toss-up state and will be one of the key battleground states in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on August 2, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Ryan Berman (State Rep.)
Tom Leonard (former State House Speaker who opposed Nessel in 2018)

Independent
Matthew DePerno (attorney)

Minnesota

  • Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) was first elected in 2018 with 49 percent of the vote and is running for reelection in 2022. Currently, there are four Republican candidates. Although Minnesota traditionally leans Democratic, General Ellison won in 2018 with only 49 percent of the state. Minnesota is one of the key states to watch in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on August 9, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Jim Schultz (attorney)
Dennis Smith (former State Rep.)
Lynne Torgerson (attorney)
Doug Wardlow (former State Rep. who opposed Ellison in 2018)

Nebraska

  • Attorney General Doug Peterson (R) was first elected in 2014 and is not seeking reelection in 2022. Currently, there is one Republican candidate and no Democratic candidates. Nebraska is strong Republican state and will remain that way in 2022.

Republican Candidate
Mike Hilgers
(State legislator)

Nevada

  • Attorney General Aaron Ford (D) was first elected in 2018 with 47.2 percent of the vote and is seeking reelection in 2022. Currently, there is one Republican candidate opposing him. Nevada is typically a toss-up state and could be a key state to watch in 2022.

Republican Candidate
Tisha Black (attorney)
Sigal Chattah (attorney)

New Mexico

  • Attorney General Hector Balderas (D) was first elected in 2014 and is term limited. Currently, there are two Democratic candidates competing to succeed him and no announced Republican candidates. New Mexico has traditionally been a strong Democratic state and will likely remain that way in 2022
  • The primary election will be held on June 7, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Brian Colón (State Auditor)
Raul Torrez (County District Attorney)

Republican Candidate
Jeremy Gay (former marine)

New York

  • Attorney General Letitia James (D) was first elected in 2018 with 62.4 percent of the vote and is running for reelection in 2022. Currently, there is one Republican candidate competing to oppose her. New York is traditionally a strong Democratic state and will likely remain that way in 2022.

Republican Candidate
Michael Henry (attorney)

North Dakota

  • Former U.S. Attorney and Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley (R) was nominated by Gov. Burgum and sworn in on February 9 to serve out the remainder of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s term. General Stenehjem was first elected in 2000 and unexpectedly passed away on January 28th. AG Wrigley will seek election to a full term this November. No other candidates have announced their candidacy. North Dakota is traditionally a strong Republican state and will likely remain that way in 2022.

Republican Candidate
Drew Wrigley
(former U.S. Attorney and former Lt. Governor)

Democratic Candidate
Timothy Lamb (Attorney)

Ohio

  • Attorney General Dave Yost (R) was first elected in 2018 with 52.2 percent of the vote and is seeking reelection in 2022. There is one Democratic candidate. Ohio has leaned Republican in recent years and will likely continue to trend that way in 2022.

Democratic Candidate
Jeffrey Crossman
(State Rep.)

Oklahoma

  • Attorney General John O’Connor (R) was appointed on July 23, 2021, by Governor Kevin Stitt after former Attorney General Mike Hunter resigned during his first term. Currently, there is one Republican candidate and no Democratic candidates. Oklahoma is traditionally a strong Republican state and will remain so in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on June 28, 2022.

Republican Candidate
Gentner Drummond (attorney, rancher; ran for AG in 2018, narrowly losing to Mr. Hunter)

Rhode Island

  • Attorney General Peter Neronha (D) was first elected in 2018 with 79.8 percent of the vote and is running for reelection in 2022. Currently, there is one Republican candidate. Rhode Island is traditionally a strong Democratic state and will likely remain so in 2022.

Republican Candidate
Charles Calenda
(former Assistant AG; trial attorney)

South Carolina

  • Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) was first elected in 2010 and is running for reelection in 2022. South Carolina is traditionally a strong Republican state and will remain that way in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on June 14, 2022.

Republican Candidate
Lauren Martel (attorney)

South Dakota

  • Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) was first elected in 2018 with 55.2 percent of the vote and is seeking reelection in 2022. Currently, there is one other Republican candidate and no Democratic candidates. South Dakota is a strong Republican state and will remain so in 2022. Former Attorney General Marty Jackley is running in the Republican primary against General Ravnsborg. The winner of that primary will be the next Attorney General.
  • Republican convention for Attorney General will take place on June 23, 2022.

Republican Candidate
Marty Jackley (former attorney general and U.S. Attorney)

Texas

  • Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was first elected in 2014 and is seeking reelection in 2022. On March 1, 2022, Texas held its primary election and the top two candidates for each party advanced to a runoff election, which will determine the general election candidate for each party.
  • Attorney General Paxton received 42.7% of the vote and will face George P. Bush, who received 22.8% percent. On the Democratic side, Rochelle Garza received 43% of the vote and will face Joe Jawroski who was in second with 19.7%. The runoff election will be held on May 24, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Attorney General Ken Paxton (R)
George P. Bush (Texas Land Commissioner)

Democratic Candidates
Rochelle Garza (former ACLU attorney)
Joe Jaworski (former Galveston mayor)

Vermont

  • Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D) was first elected in 2016 and is not seeking reelection in 2022 (attorneys general are elected every two years in Vermont). Currently, there are two Democratic candidates. Vermont is a strong Democratic state and will likely remain that way in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on August 9, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Charity Clark (Chief of Staff to AG Donovan)
Rory Thibault (Washington County State’s Attorney)

Wisconsin

  • Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) was first elected in 2018 with 49.4 percent of the vote and is seeking reelection in 2022. Currently, there are two Republican candidates. Wisconsin traditionally is a toss-up state and will be one of the key states to watch in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on August 9, 2022.

Republican Candidates
Adam Jarchow (former state assemblyman)>
Karen Mueller (attorney)
Eric Toney (county District Attorney)

Washington, D.C.

  • Attorney General Karl Racine (D) was first elected in 2014 and is not seeking reelection. There are currently four Democratic candidates, and no Republicans. Washington, D.C. is a strong Democratic jurisdiction and will remain that way in 2022.
  • The primary election will be held on June 21, 2022.

Democratic Candidates
Ryan Jones (attorney)
Brian Schwalb (attorney)
Bruce Spiva (attorney)