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Drew Edmondson
Drewedmondson (cropped).jpg
16th Attorney General of Oklahoma
In office
January 9, 1995 – January 10, 2011
Governor Frank Keating
Brad Henry
Preceded by Susan B. Loving
Succeeded by Scott Pruitt
District Attorney of Muskogee County
In office
January 1983 – April 1, 1992
Preceded by Mike Turpen
Succeeded by John Luton
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
January 7, 1975 – January 4, 1977
Preceded by George Miller
Succeeded by Jim Barker
Personal details
William Andrew Edmondson

(1946-10-12) October 12, 1946 (age 77)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Linda Larason
(m. 1967)
Children 2
Relatives Ed Edmondson (father)
James E. Edmondson (brother)
J. Howard Edmondson (uncle)
Education Northeastern State University (BA)
University of Tulsa (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Years of service 1968–1972
Battles/wars Vietnam War

William Andrew Edmondson (born October 12, 1946) is an American lawyer and politician from the state of Oklahoma. A member of the Democratic Party, Edmondson served as the 16th Attorney General of Oklahoma from 1995 to 2011. Prior to his election as state attorney general, he served as district attorney for Muskogee County, Oklahoma, from 1983 to 1992. He was defeated twice in campaigns for U.S. Congress in Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district, where his father Ed Edmondson served from 1953 to 1973.

Edmondson was defeated twice in statewide races for Governor of Oklahoma. In 2010, Edmondson was defeated by Jari Askins in an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party nomination for governor. Following his service as attorney general, he joined the Oklahoma City law office of Riggs Abney. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018 but was defeated by Republican nominee Kevin Stitt in the general election.

Early life and career

Drew Edmondson was born in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 1946, and is the son of former U.S. Congressman Ed Edmondson and June Edmondson. He is also a nephew of former Governor J. Howard Edmondson. His brother, James E. Edmondson is a Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. As a child, he grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. and graduated from Muskogee High School in 1964. In 1968, he earned a B.A. in speech education from Northeastern State University, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon, now Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.


From 1968 to 1972, Edmondson served in the United States Navy including a year of duty during the Vietnam War. From 1975 to 1977, he served one term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He graduated from the University of Tulsa Law School in 1978. That same year, he joined the Muskogee County District Attorney's Office as an intern and became an assistant district attorney the following year, serving under District Attorney Mike Turpen.

Edmondson was elected as Muskogee County District Attorney in 1982. He was subsequently reelected without opposition in 1986 and 1990. He resigned halfway through his third term, to run for Congress in 1992.

Attorney general

Edmondson was elected as Oklahoma Attorney General in 1994. During his first term, he joined other state attorneys general in filing suit against the tobacco industry, successfully advocated for reform of the death penalty appeals process, and created a victim assistance unit. In 1998, he became the second Oklahoma Attorney General to win reelection unopposed. He was elected to a third term in 2002, defeating state Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode. During 2002–2003, he served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General. Notable cases investigated during his tenure as attorney general included the August 2003 indictment of WorldCom and its former CEO Bernard Ebbers on charges of violating state securities laws although the charges were later dropped following Ebbers's federal sentencing. Furthermore, he conducted a corruption investigation against then-State Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher, which resulted in Fisher's impeachment, resignation, and indictment on charges including embezzlement, tax evasion, perjury, and bribery.

In 2001, Edmondson became involved in a legal dispute with then-governor Frank Keating over the Governor's restructuring of his Cabinet, winning a state Supreme Court ruling that Keating had no authority to restructure his Cabinet without legislative approval in the case of Keating v. Edmondson.

When Oklahoma City Police Department chemist Joyce Gilchrist was accused of falsifying evidence in hundreds of cases, Attorney General Edmondson was asked to appoint independent counsel to investigate and refused to do so. In addition to having defended her work in appeals proceedings prior to the scandal, he made the decision that most of the death-penalty cases that depended upon her testimony did not need additional review.

In October 2007, Edmondson charged term limits and initiative rights activist Paul Jacob and two others on the grounds that they had illegally used out-of-state petitioners to collect signatures on a ballot initiative. In December 2008 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit struck down the underlying Oklahoma law that barred out-of-state petition circulators, ruling that it violated the First Amendment. The attorney general's office dismissed the charges against Jacob and the other defendants in January 2009.

Edmondson was elected to a fourth term in the 2006 election, running against Republican James Dunn. He did not seek reelection to a fifth term in 2010, choosing instead to run for governor and eventually losing in the primary to Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins. Due to term limits passed in a statewide referendum in 2010, Edmondson's record of 16 years in office as Oklahoma State Attorney General will most likely be unbroken.

2010 gubernatorial election

Edmondson announced on June 10, 2009 his candidancy for Governor of Oklahoma. On July 27, 2010 Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins "edged Attorney General Drew Edmondson in the Democratic primary by fewer than six-tenths of 1 percent — about 1,500 votes — with all but three of the state's 2,244 precincts reporting unofficial results." "Edmondson threw his support to Askins in a concession speech that resolved a tightly run contest.

2018 gubernatorial election

On May 1, 2017 Edmondson announced his second run for Governor of Oklahoma. In the Democratic primary he initially faced competition from state house minority leader Scott Inman, and former state senator Connie Johnson. However, on October 25 Inman dropped out of the race, leaving Edmondson and Johnson as the two candidates. Polling had Edmondson in a significant lead over Johnson for the primary.> On June 26, 2018 Edmondson won the Democratic nomination over Johnson, 61%–39%. On November 6, 2018, he lost to Republican nominee and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.

Personal life

While a college student, Edmondson married Linda Larason of Fargo, Oklahoma. The couple has two children.

Awards and honors

On March 6, 2009, Edmondson was honored by his alma mater Northeastern State University with a 100 Centurion award. This award was given to 100 individuals that have had a positive impact on the NSU community in the last 100 years.

Electoral history

Attorney General elections

Oklahoma Attorney General election, 1994 Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Drew Edmondson 253,058 61.13
Democratic L. Fred Collins 87,091 21.04
Democratic John B. Nicks 73,819 17.83
Total votes 413,968 100.0
Oklahoma Attorney General election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Drew Edmondson 507,039 52.16%
Republican Mike Hunter 465,031 47.84%
Total votes 972,800 100.0
Oklahoma Attorney General election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Drew Edmondson 615,932 60.10%
Republican Denise Bode 408,833 39.90%
Total votes 1,024,765 100.0
Oklahoma Attorney General election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Drew Edmondson 563,364 61.19%
Republican Jim Dunn 357,267 38.81%
Total votes 920,631 100.0

Gubernatorial elections

2010 Oklahoma gubernatorial election Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jari Askins 132,591 50.28
Democratic Drew Edmondson 131,097 49.72
Total votes 263,688 100.00
2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial election Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Drew Edmondson 242,764 61.4
Democratic Connie Johnson 152,730 38.6
Total votes 395,494 100.0

Edmondson Family

The Edmondson family is well known for running for office and election participation within their families in Oklahoma political history.

Drew Edmondson is the son of Ed Edmondson, a former U.S. congressman from Oklahoma who served from 1952 to 1972; the nephew of J.Howard Edmondson, a former Oklahoma governor and U.S. Senator who served in Oklahoma politics from 1954 to 1964; and the brother of James E. Edmondson, a current Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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