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Chris Koster

Assumed office 
January 12, 2009
Preceded by Jay Nixon

Born August 31, 1964 (1964-08-31) (age 45)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Political party Democratic Party (2007-present) Republican Party (?-2007)
Spouse(s) Single
Alma mater University of Missouri
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis University High School
Profession Attorney
Website Missouri Attorney General's Website

Campaign Website

Chris Koster (born August 31, 1964) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Missouri and is the current Attorney General of Missouri. Prior to his election as Attorney General, he had served in the Missouri Senate since 2005 representing the 31st Senatorial District as a Republican until August 1, 2007 when he switched to the Democratic Party. [1]


Early life and career

Koster was born and raised in St. Louis. He went on to study at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1987. Four years later, he received his juris doctor degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1991. Additionally, he earned his masters in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002.

Prior to becoming a county prosecuting attorney, Koster practiced law with the Kansas City law firm of Blackwell Sanders from 1993 to 1994. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Missouri Attorney General from 1991 to 1993.

Before his election to the Missouri Senate in 2004, Koster served as Prosecuting Attorney of Cass County for ten years. He was first elected prosecutor in 1994 and was subsequently reelected in 1998 and 2002 by wide margins. As prosecutor, he supervised a staff of 20 individuals dedicated to enforcing Missouri’s criminal laws in Cass County. Additionally, his office served as the civil counsel for all non-criminal matters before the county government. During his tenure, Koster supervised litigation in approximately 20,000 cases. He led investigations into many of Kansas City’s most notorious criminal cases, including the investigation against serial killer John E. Robinson. He has developed extensive trial experience and has argued and won cases before the Missouri Supreme Court.

Koster also practices law with the Law Firm of Tim Dollar in Kansas City where he specializes in the area of civil litigation. He resides in Harrisonville, Missouri.

Political career

Koster was first elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2004 as a Republican. He represented Missouri's 31st Senatorial District which consists of Cass, Johnson, Bates and Vernon counties. During his time in the Missouri General Assembly, Koster played key roles in the debates over stem cell research, tort reform, and the elimination of Medicaid fraud. Additionally, in 2006 Chris successfully carried legislation in the Senate to dramatically over-haul Missouri’s eminent domain laws. He served on the following committees in the Senate:

  • Economic Development, Tourism, and Local Government
  • Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
  • Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws
  • Commerce, Energy and the Environment
  • Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources

Koster champions legislation for Truth in the Missouri Court System. Currently, Koster has a bill pending (SB55) for the elimination of paternity fraud.

On August 1, 2007, Koster made Missouri political history when he announced that he was leaving the Missouri Republican Party and becoming a Democrat. Citing his longstanding differences with the Republican Party on issues like stem cell research, workers’ rights, and the non-partisan court plan, Koster said that the Missouri Republican Party had become too beholden to the extreme right-wing to lead the state of Missouri forward. [2] He commented, "Today, Republican moderates are all but extinct."[3] He is the first high-profile elected official in Missouri ever to have taken such a leap.

Before his change of parties, Koster was Chairman of the Republican Caucus, the majority party's fourth-ranking position in the Missouri State Senate.[4]

On August 5, 2008, Koster narrowly defeated State Representative Margaret Donnelly in the Democratic primary for the nomination for Missouri Attorney General. His campaign was not easily won because he had to overcome the label of "opportunist" as a result of switching parties during the '08 election. He then went on to defeat Republican State Senator Mike Gibbons in the general election, 52.83% to 47.17%.[5] He was sworn in as Attorney General on January 12, 2009, succeeding now Governor Jay Nixon.

Electoral history

2008 Race for Attorney General of Missouri
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Chris Koster 1,471,647 52.83
Republican Mike Gibbons 1,312,719 47.17


  1. ^ Sen. Chris Koster's Party Switch Press Conference YouTube, August 1, 2007
  2. ^ Andrea Chalfin, KBIA, Koster Switches Parties KWMU News, August 1, 2007
  3. ^ Kelly Wiese for AP, Likely Missouri attorney general candidate switches to Democratic Party Southeast Missourian, August 2, 2007
  4. ^ Stephanie Simon,When moderates feel lost in the GOP September 3, 2007
  5. ^ Unofficial Election Returns Missouri Secretary of State
  • Official Manual, State of Missouri, 2005-2006. Jefferson City, MO: Secretary of State.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jay Nixon
Missouri State Attorney General


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