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

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  • Colin Provost

Abstract

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.

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  • 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
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