By The Associated Press
THE CANDIDATES: Democrat Chris Koster was elected in 2009 and is seeking a second term. The Republican challenger is St. Louis attorney Ed Martin, who served as the chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt. Also running is Libertarian Dave Browning, of Oak Grove.
THE OFFICE: The attorney general's duties include defending state laws and policies in court, assisting county prosecutors when requested, investigating consumer fraud cases and probing potential violations of the state's open meetings and records law.
POLITICAL POSITIONING: Historically, the office has been a launching pad for higher officer. Numerous Missouri attorneys general later have served as governor or in the U.S. Senate. Democrats have controlled the office since 1993.
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