Leslie Rutledge

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Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Rutledge by Gage Skidmore.jpg
56th Attorney General of Arkansas
Assumed office
January 13, 2015
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Preceded by Dustin McDaniel
Personal details
Born (1976-06-09) June 9, 1976 (age 42)
Batesville, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Boyce Johnson (m. 2015)
Children 1
Education University of Arkansas,
University of Arkansas, Little

Leslie Rutledge (born June 9, 1976) is an American lawyer and politician from the U.S. State of Arkansas. A member of the Republican Party, she is the current Attorney General of Arkansas, a position she has held since January 13, 2015.

Early life and career

A a native of Batesville in Independence County, Arkansas, Rutledge is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.[1] She began her legal career as clerk to the Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, since associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed deputy counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign. She has also been a deputy prosecuting attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She served as deputy counsel at the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee before she was named counsel for the Republican National Committee. Prior to her election as attorney general, Rutledge founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC.[citation needed]

Attorney General of Arkansas (2015–present)

Rutledge sought the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Arkansas in the 2014 election.[2] She faced fellow attorneys Patricia Nation[3] and David Sterling.[4] Rutledge finished with a plurality in the primary but finished with less than 50 percent of the vote. She hence faced second-place finisher David Sterling in a runoff election.[5] Nation endorsed Rutledge, and she defeated Sterling.[6]

In September 2014, County Clerk Larry Crane of Pulaski County cancelled Rutledge's voter registration when he discovered that Rutledge had registered to vote in Washington, D.C.[7] She re-registered in Pulaski County.[8]

Notably, during the 2014 AETN Televised Debate, Leslie Rutledge compared smart phones to "the devil". https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lg5h1Av-RcQ

Rutledge defeated Democratic Party nominee Nate Steel, a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, and Libertarian Party nominee Aaron Cash, in the general election.[9] She is the first Republican and woman thus far to have been elected Attorney General of Arkansas.[citation needed]

In 2016, Rutledge stated that she would appeal a ruling supporting LGBT anti-discrimination laws enacted in Fayetteville, Arkansas, that is in opposition to a state law prohibiting these ordinances.[10][11]

In July 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a group of Republican Attorneys General from nine other states, including Rutledge, plus Idaho Governor Butch Otter, in threatening the Donald J. Trump administration that they would litigate if the president did not terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that had been put into place by president Barack Obama. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery, III subsequently reversed his position and withdrew his participation from the proposed suit on August 31. Slatery went further to urge passage of the DREAM Act.[12][13] The other Attorneys General who joined in making the threats against Trump included Steve Marshall of Alabama, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Doug Peterson of Nebraska, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia.[14]

In June 2017, Rutledge again rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling in the state. She rejected the proposal by Barry Emigh of Hot Springs, writing that the proposed popular name and ballot title are "misleading and wholly deficient."[15]

Personal life

Rutledge met Boyce Johnson, a farmer from Marion in Crittenden County in eastern Arkansas, at a convention for the American Farm Bureau Federation. The couple wed in December 2015.[16][17] On 27 July 2018, Rutledge gave birth to a daughter.

Electoral history

Arkansas Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Leslie Rutledge 79,347 47.21
Republican David Sterling 65,733 39.11
Republican Patricia Nation 22,986 13.68
Arkansas Attorney General Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Leslie Rutledge 43,898 58.89
Republican David Sterling 30,643 41.11
Arkansas Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Leslie Rutledge 430,799 51.61
Democratic Nate Steel 360,680 43.21
Libertarian Aaron Cash 43,245 5.18

See also


  1. ^ "William H. Bowen School of Law – University of Arkansas at Little Rock".
  2. ^ "Leslie Rutledge to make Republican run for attorney general". Arkansas Times. June 28, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Tolbert: Nation Set To Announce For Attorney General". Talk Business Arkansas. January 30, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "David Sterling Makes Attorney General Race Official". Talk Business Arkansas. May 7, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "David Sterling, Leslie Rutledge Go to Runoff in Attorney General Race". Arkansas Business. May 21, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "Runoff race gets nasty between GOP Attorney General candidates". The City Wire. June 2, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "AG hopeful Rutledge not registered to vote in state, clerk says". Arkansas Online. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Leslie Rutledge finally registers to vote". Arkansas Times. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Associated Press, news source (November 4, 2014). "Leslie Rutledge beats Nate Steel for Arkansas attorney general". Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge To Appeal Judge's Ruling Over LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance". Lawyer Herald. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  11. ^ The Associated Press (March 30, 2016). "Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney general, seeks to block protections for gays and lesbians". Newsday. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Tennessee’s attorney general: I’ve changed my mind, DACA is good, pass the DREAM Act, Vox.com, Dara Linddara, September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Texas leads 10 states in urging Trump to end Obama-era immigration program, Texas Tribune, Julián Aguilar, June 29, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  14. ^ SPLC denounces letter from 10 Attorneys General seeking "cruel and heartless" repeal of DACA, Southern Poverty Law Center, June 30, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Casino Games Pro (June 15, 2017). "Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Says "No" to Casino Ballot Proposal Again".
  16. ^ "Attorney General Leslie Rutledge engaged to be married". Arkansas Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "Attorney General Leslie Rutledge weds Boyce Johnson". Arkansas Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Dustin McDaniel
Attorney General of Arkansas
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