Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) will run for a third term, and is canceling his bid for the 2020 gubernatorial race, according to the Associated Press.
In December 2018, Herring told the Washington Post that he planned to run governor but in February 2019, four days after censuring Governor Ralph Northam for his blackface scandal, Herring admitted to having worn blackface as an undergraduate, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Herring has struggled to raise funds ever since, The Associated Press reported.
“I’m not surprised [by Herring canceling his gubernatorial effort]” Chuck Smith, Republican candidate for the Attorney General’s office, told The Virginia Star.
“I think he knew that his bid to take the top job in the state was going to fail, but I think he fails to recognize that Virginians are not going to forget that he and the Governor were both running around in blackface.”
“These were deliberate decisions, they were conscious decisions, they were aware of it,” Smith added. However, Smith thinks Herring would not win the seat for policy reasons as well.
“I think the country’s taking a turn in the wrong direction. I think Attorney General Herring stands for that wrong direction. He does not stand by the Constitution, which I think most Americans want, and I think he doesn’t stand for the values that Virginia has held dear to, and that is that we not only fund our police officers but stand by our police officers,” Smith added.
Smith said that Herring’s decision to run re-election does not change Smith’s strategy. “All along we knew we were running against Herring’s policies,” Smith said. “I think Herring has parked away from the Constitution.”
So far, Smith is the only candidate for the Republican primary, but Senator Bill Stanley (R-Danville) may also be planning to run. Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor and House of Delegates Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) are likely candidates as well.
The Star requested comments from Stanley, Jones, Taylor, and Mark Herring. None of them responded by press time.
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