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AG as Aspiring Governor

UVa political scientist Larry Sabato has this commentary at Rasmussen Reports.


Chris Christie, formerly the US Attorney for the Distrcit of New Jersey, recently defeated then-incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine for the governorship.

There are probably other examples of US Attorneys going on to the governor's mansion or to a Senate seat, but I don't know of them off the seat of my pants. Perhaps readers do.

Of course Democrat (or Republican or whatever he is today) Senator Arlen Specter got his start as the District Attorney of Philadelphia. As did Governor Ed Rendell.

Christie's gubernatorial win, along with that (in the same election cycle) of former AG Bob McDonnell in Virginia, may spell a promising trend in state politics. And of course the possible nomination of Judge Ann Williams to the Supreme Court also speaks to the esteem given to service as a prosecutor; Judge Williams served nine years as an AUSA. Service for a period that long generally shows the person in the office is there because she believes in what she is doing, and not just for purposes of putting together an attractive resume.

Of course Judge Williams has not been nominated and may never be, but just the fact that she is being seriously considered is a hopeful sign.

Lt. Governors (who have little to actually do) are probably less likely to antagonize voters and make enemies than AGs who actually have to take legal positions on issues and conduct litigation. So, it is probably not that surprising AGs are not as successful when they try to move up to governor. If Sabato had spread his net a little wider, of course, he would have scooped up two other AG/Governors for California--Earl Warren and Pat Brown.

Does Jerry Brown count as a Governor to AG in reverse?

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