CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Sununu plans to nominate his legal counsel, John Formella, to serve as New Hampshire's attorney general.

Sununu said he will submit the nomination to the Executive Council on Wednesday, with a vote likely March 24. If confirmed, Formella would replace Gordon MacDonald, who is scheduled to be sworn in as chief justice of the state Supreme Court on Thursday.

Sununu said Formella's excellent relationships with state leaders will enable him to transition smoothly into the new role.

“John has been a key member of my team since the day I took office, and his incredible legal skill and exceptional work ethic have helped me guide the State through the historic challenges we have faced during the past four years,” Sununu said in a statement Tuesday.

In his current role, he worked on the establishment of the state's Doorway program for substance abuse treatment, a settlement over payments to hospitals for uncompensated care, criminal justice reform initiatives and efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, he worked in private practice in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

His nomination was praised by Mary Tenn, former president of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and Robert Lynn, former chief justice of the state Supreme Court.


This story was first published on March 2, 2021. It was updated on March 3, 2021 to correct when outgoing Attorney General Gordon MacDonald is being sworn in as chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. MacDonald is being sworn in Thursday.