Louisiana Illuminator illustration
Voters have chosen Liz Murrill, a chief deputy to Attorney General and Gov.-elect Jeff Landry, to succeed her boss and become the state’s first woman to hold the key post.
Murrill comfortably led her opponent, Democrat Lindsey Cheek, with 67% of vote in Saturday’s runoff election as of 8:30 p.m..
With Murrill’s election, Louisiana becomes the 35th state to have a woman hold the AG’s office.
Her close association with Landry will amount to a notable shift in the way two of the state’s most powerful officials interact. Landry and current Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, have consistently butted heads, like many of their respective predecessors.
Murrill, Landry’s hand-picked successor, believes things will be different now.
“I expect to have a cooperative relationship with the governor-elect because we share the goals of making our state safer and more economically competitive,” Murrill said in a recent interview with the Illuminator.
One thing that won’t change is the state’s top lawyer going to battle with the federal government.
“I will continue to fight federal overreach,” Murrill said during her remarks after qualifying for office. “Defending state sovereignty is what defends us as a separate state and part of the republic so that we can come up with solutions that are appropriate for our state.”
Landry chose Murrill to serve as the state’s first solicitor general when he took office in 2016. While the position doesn’t exist in state law, Murrill’s work embodies the typical tasks of the state’s top attorney, including representing Louisiana in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Before working with Landry, Murrill served in several roles in former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, including as his executive counsel. Murrill also previously taught law at LSU.
Murrill received two degrees from the state’s flagship university, her law degree and an undergraduate degree in journalism. She worked as a journalist in Florida for a short time before returning to Louisiana to study law.
“I wanted to go to law school since I was 16 years old,” Murrill said. “When I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, I wanted to write and work as a reporter. That work reaffirmed my desire to go to law school, and I never really looked back.”
Murrill will take office on Jan. 8.
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