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Dustin McDaniel

Assumed office 
January 9, 2007
Preceded by Mike Beebe

Born April 29, 1972 (1972-04-29) (age 37)
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Political party Democratic
Religion Episcopalian

Dustin McDaniel (born April 29, 1972 in Fayetteville, Arkansas)[1] is the current Attorney General of Arkansas. A member of the Democratic Party, he assumed office on January 9, 2007, succeeding Mike Beebe, who became Governor of Arkansas.



Dustin McDaniel graduated from the University of Arkansas, where he was an undergraduate member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Immediately after college, Dustin turned down admission to law school in order to become a uniformed patrol officer for the Jonesboro Police Department. He felt as though he needed to give something back to the community, and looking back says it is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things he has ever done. After completing law school, McDaniel became a partner in the Jonesboro law firm of McDaniel and Wells, where he practiced law with his father, Bobby McDaniel. Prior to becoming the Attorney General, McDaniel served one term in the Arkansas House of Representatives, representing Jonesboro's District 75. During which time he was named an "Outstanding State Legislator" by the Arkansas Municipal League [1]

As an attorney, Dustin has enjoyed a successful and respected career. Some of his professional accomplishments include:

  • Appointed by Federal Judges of Arkansas’ Eastern District to serve on the Federal Practice Committee.
  • Received the Arkansas Bar Association’s “Golden Gavel” award for serving as Chair of the Consumer Law Handbook Committee.
  • Received the Arkansas Bar Association’s “Distinguished Service” award for having the Consumer Law Handbook translated into Spanish.
  • Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Association Civil Litigation Section (2002 & 2003).
  • Board of Governors – Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  • McDaniel served as legal counsel for the Craighead County Democratic Central Committee and is a former member of the Democratic Party of Arkansas State Committee.

In May 2007, he and his wife of 11 years, announced they were getting a divorce. There was a quick backlash from many supporters over the fact that he had put his family in front of the camera for posters and TV ads and run as a family man supporting family values, it has yet to be seen if this has hurt his standing with the general public. [2]

As Attorney General

McDainel came out of a difficult runoff in the Democratic primary, beating North Little Rock City Attorney and Iraq War Vet Paul Suskie by a few thousand votes. During the campaign, 16 former Presidents of the Arkansas Bar Association came out endorsing McDaniels, [3], as well as former State Treasurer and 2002 Democratic Candidate for Governor, Jimmie Lou Fisher, (see Fisher's page for details). He then went on to easily beat State Senator Gunner DeLay, winning by almost twenty-one points[4]. When he was sworn in he became the youngest Attorney General in the country. [5]

As Attorney General he has been an active consumer advocate. He sued and got a settlement with Bayer Asprin over its marketing of Baycol, [6], and recently sued AstraZeneca over its marketing practices, [7]. He has demanded that payday lenders in Arkansas shut down or face legal action, ordering nearly 156 outlets shut down and stating: "In addition, I hereby demand you void any and all current and past-due obligations of your borrowers, and refrain from any collection activities related to these payday loans" [8] As Attorney General he institaged the "Be Street Smart Smart" Program to address the nearly 1.5 million dollars Arkansans lose a year to internet cyber scams. [9]

In 2008 he rejected a proposed Ballot initiative to limit Illegal Immigration, calling it too vague [10], coming under fire from some conservative groups, before later approving a revised version of the initiative, "Secure Arkansas", [11]

Multiple pieces of important Legislation, proposed by the Attorney General's office have been passed, including Real Time Electronic Logbook (ACT 508), which creates an electronic, searchable database for law enforcement to use. Overall, 15 out of 16 of its proposed bills were passed, covering everything from consumer credit fraud, to adult businesses, to sexual predators. [12]

His current term continues until 2011. He will face reelection in 2010, and is an oft mentioned rising star in Arkansas Democratic Party, and could be a candidate to replace the current Arkansas governor, Mike Beebe, after Beebe is term limited. Should McDaniel choose to do so in 2014, he would likely face opposition in the democratic primary election from Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter and 4th District Congressman Mike Ross.


  1. ^ Arkansas News Bureau (May 14, 2006). "Young lawyers battle in attorney general primary". Retrieved 2007-04-29.  

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