IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

When is AG Short for Aspiring Governor? Ambition and Policy Making Dynamics in the Office of State Attorney General


  • Colin Provost


Anecdotes have emerged in the media about why state attorneys general run for higher office, but there have been no empirical examinations of why some attorney generals (AGs) run for higher office and others do not. I seek to answer two questions: first, what shapes political ambition among state AGs? Second, how do styles of policy making affect the likelihood of AGs running for higher office? I examine Rohde's assumption that all politicians have progressive ambition and analyze participation in multistate lawsuits as an influence on ambition. The findings indicate that AGs begin their service with varying levels of political ambition, but also that much of the media speculation is correct: AGs who are active in multistate litigation are also likely to run for higher office. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Provost, 2010. "When is AG Short for Aspiring Governor? Ambition and Policy Making Dynamics in the Office of State Attorney General," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 597-616, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:40:y:2010:i:4:p:597-616

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:40:y:2010:i:4:p:597-616. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.