Saturday, December 27, 2008

From NC AG to US Senate: a historical overview

Established by the state's first constitution in 1776, the office of Attorney General of North Carolina has been a stepping-stone for some of its occupants (including Gov. Mike Easley).

So let's review the attorneys general who later moved on to the United States Senate, as we hope Coop will do:
  • Matt Ransom (D) was attorney general in the 1850s, and served in the Senate from 1872 to 1895. He was not elected by the people to either office, since at the time, both the attorney general and U.S. senators were elected by the state legislature.
  • Robert Morgan (D) would be very similar to Coop, if Coop runs and wins in 2010. Like Coop, Morgan served in the legislature before being elected Attorney General in 1968. In 1974, Morgan was elected to the Senate to succeed the retiring Sam Ervin. He was defeated for a second term in 1980.

Coop's three most recent predecessors in the office (Rufus Edmisten, Lacy Thornburg and Easley) all ran for Governor. Only one was successful. Will Coop become the third North Carolina Attorney General to sit in the Senate, or does he want to follow the other route by running for Governor someday?

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