Local Politics

Local politics can sometimes seem like a circus but in truth, they're extremely important. Local politics includes positions at the city, county and state levels. In this section we'll explore all of the different positions in local politics.

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How Mayors Work

Even a mayor whose job is mostly symbolic can have a lot of pull when it comes to running a city. Where does a mayor's power come from -- and does it go all the way up to the national level?


How State Governors Work

Each state has its own head of the executive branch of government -- the state governor. But what does a state governor actually do, and how does he or she shape the lives of citizens within his or her state?

What does a lieutenant governor do?

If the governor passes away or resigns, the lieutenant governor takes over the position. But outside acting as a stand-in for such an event, what does the lieutenant governor do?

How an Attorney General Works

The attorney general of United States is our country's legal counsel. He or she advises the president and the heads of executive departments. What else does this person do?

How the Secretary of State Works

People know who the U.S. secretary of state is and probably something about what he or she does. But did you know states have them, too? How is their role in local government different?

What does a state comptroller do?

Despite some confusion about its spelling, the required duties of a state comptroller are quite clear: These money managers oversee state budgets, pay state employees, manage pensions and more.

What does a state treasurer do?

In the U.S., the state treasurer acts as the state's chief banker and money manager. Some treasurers, however, use the office as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

What does an auditor general do?

The U.S. government -- and every state in the Union -- takes in billions of dollars in tax money every year. When you have that kind of money coming in, it's easy to act recklessly. Luckily, auditors general track all these funds and make sure they're spent responsibly.

What does a county assessor do?

Would you like to know how much your house is worth? Do you want to make sure that new shed will add value to your home before you build it? County assessors help property owners in a given county determine its value -- and, in turn, the county's property tax rate.

What does a county clerk do?

If you've ever gotten married, had a child or really, ever been born, your vital records have made their way over to the county clerk's office. Could you work as a county clerk and maintain all that paperwork?

How a State's Attorney Works

You've probably seen countless legal series on television that depict large teams of attorneys representing the state. But who's the big shot in charge of those lawyers? The State's Attorney, that's who.