State Attorneys General serve as the top lawyers and chief law enforcement officials for the states, commonwealths, and territories of the United States. The role of a state Attorney General is to represent the interest of the general public in legal matters as well as counsel state government agencies, legislatures, and in some instances state officers. Although state Attorneys General often work on issues that are front and center on the national stage, their work must always tie back to the people in their states and territories. Unlike Members of Congress, the powers and jurisdiction of each state Attorney General vary from state to state.
In 43 states and Washington, D.C., people directly vote for state Attorney General. The attorney general is selected by the state Legislature in Maine, by the state Supreme Court in Tennessee, and appointed by the governor in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming.