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The William P.
Clements State Office Building has the attorney general offices
The Texas Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of Texasmarker.

The department has offices at the William P. Clements State Office Building at 300 West 15th Street in Austinmarker.


The Office of the Attorney General was first established by executive ordinance of the Republic of Texas government in 1836. The attorneys general of the Republic of Texas and the first four attorneys general under the 1845 state constitution were appointed by the governor. The office was made elective in 1850 by constitutional amendment.

The attorney general is elected to a four-year term. The current attorney general of Texas is Greg Abbott (Republican), in office since December 2, 2002.

Duties and responsibilities

The attorney general is charged by the state constitution to defend the laws and constitution of Texas, represent the state in litigation, and approve public bond issues.

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes, sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions, and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the state. These duties include representing the Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in appeals from criminal convictions in federal courts. The Office of the Attorney General is also a law enforcement agency and employs a staff of sworn peace officers investigating special classes of offenses, pursuing fugitives, and conducting investigations at the requests of local prosecutors. The office is also charged with proceedings to secure child support and the investigation of Medicaid fraud.

List of Texas Attorneys General

Republic of Texas

State of Texas

Attorney General Took office Left office Party
Volney E. Howard February 21, 1846 May 7, 1846 Democrat
John W. Harris May 7, 1846 October 31, 1849 Democrat
Henry P. Brewster October 31, 1849 January 15, 1850
Andrew Jackson Hamilton January 15, 1850 August 5, 1850 Democrat
Ebenezer Allen1 August 5, 1850 August 2, 1852
Thomas J. Jennings August 2, 1852 August 4, 1856
James Willie August 4, 1856 August 2, 1858
Malcolm D. Graham August 2, 1858 August 6, 1860 Democrat
George M. Flournoy August 6, 1860 January 15, 1862 Democrat
Nathan G. Shelley Democrat
Benjamin E. Tarver
William Alexander
William M. Walton August 9, 1866 August 8, 1867 Democrat
Ezekiel B. Turner
William Alexander
George W. Clark Democrat
Hannibal H. Boone Democrat
George McCormick
James H. McLeary Democrat
John D. Templeton Democrat
James S. Hogg Democrat
Charles A. Culberson Democrat
Martin M. Crane Democrat
Thomas S. Smith Democrat
Charles K. Bell Democrat
Robert V. Davidson Democrat
Jewel P. Lightfoot January 1, 1910 August 31, 1912 Democrat
James D. Walthall September 1, 1912 January 1, 1913 Democrat
B. F. Looney January 1, 1913 January 1919 Democrat
Calvin M. Cureton January 1919 December 1921 Democrat
W. A. Keeling December 1921 January 1925 Democrat
Dan Moody January 1925 January 1927 Democrat
Claude Pollard January 1927 September 1929 Democrat
Robert L. Bobbitt2 September 1929 January 1931 Democrat
James Allred January 1931 January 1935 Democrat
William McCraw January 1935 January 1939 Democrat
Gerald C. Mann3 January 1939 January 1944 Democrat
Grover Sellers January 1944 January 1947 Democrat
Price Daniel January 1947 January 1953 Democrat
John Ben Shepperd January 1953 January 1, 1957 Democrat
Will Wilson January 1, 1957 January 15, 1963 Democrat
Waggoner Carr January 15, 1963 January 1, 1967 Democrat
Crawford C. Martin January 1, 1967 December 29, 1972 Democrat
John Hill January 1, 1973 January 16, 1979 Democrat
Mark White January 16, 1979 January 18, 1983 Democrat
Jim Mattox January 18, 1983 January 15, 1991 Democrat
Dan Morales January 15, 1991 January 13, 1999 Democrat
John Cornyn January 13, 1999 December 2, 2002 Republican
Greg Abbott December 2, 2002 present Republican

Political prominence

Many leading political figures in Texas history have served as attorney general, several of them using the office as a jumping off place to other offices in the state and national government. Attorneys general James S. Hogg, Charles A. Culberson, Dan Moody, James Allred, Price Daniel, and Mark White were elected governor. Culberson, Daniel, and John Cornyn were later elected to the United States Senate.


  1. First elected Attorney General
  2. Appointed
  3. Resigned


  1. " Contacting the Office of the Attorney General." Texas Attorney General. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  2. " STATE AGENCIES." State of Texas State Classification. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  3. Duties & Responsibilities - Office of the Attorney General

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