Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) formally launched his reelection bid for a third term as the Commonwealth’s top lawyer last week.
Herring, 59, officially announced his campaign for the 2021 race through a video on Twitter where he described himself as “the people’s lawyer” and highlighted several legal wins while in office.
“Serving as your attorney general has been the honor of my life,” Herring said in a press release. “We’ve worked together to promote justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians, to expand and secure the civil rights of our fellow Virginians, and to show Virginians a new vision for what their Attorney General can do for them.”
“The progress we’ve made has been historic, but the work isn’t done,” Herring continued. “And I’m not the kind of person to walk away unless the job is finished. That is why I am seeking another term as your attorney general and running for re-election in 2021.”
Having served in the position since 2014, Herring was reportedly considering a run for governor and the Executive Mansion, but decided to seek another four years as attorney general in September.
“Together we’ll work to keep you and your communities safe, fighting policies that fuel racism, hate, and violence because we believe in justice for all Virginians,” Herring says in the campaign video. “That means dismantling systemic racism, expanding opportunity, and holding law enforcement accountable to the communities they serve.”
Some of Herring’s other priorities are combating the heroin and opioid epidemics, reducing gun violence, protecting the environment, keeping Virginia’s children safe and defending women’s rights.
On Wednesday, Herring received endorsements from U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax County) and Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield). The Democratic Attorneys General Association also threw their support behind Herring.
Back in the beginning of February 2019, a now infamous week for Virginia Democrats, Herring admitted to wearing blackface to dress as a rapper for a college party in 1980 when he was 19-years-old, while fellow state Democrats, Governor Ralph Northam and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, were also involved in controversies.
Before his current position, Herring also served in the state Senate after winning a special election in 2006 to represent the 33rd District.
Herring will face competition in the Democratic primary from Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones (D-Norfolk), a member of Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus who announced a run in July.
On the Republican ticket, Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), who recently joined the race this month, as well as Hampton Roads lawyer and former Marine Chuck Smith, who pursued a bid for attorney general in 2017 but failed to submit the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot, are vying for the GOP nomination.
The Republican Party of Virginia decided earlier this month to nominate its 2021 statewide candidates through a convention instead of a primary, while Democrats are using the latter method.
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.