Jason Miyares Wins Republican Attorney General Nomination by Narrow Margin


Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) secured the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Virginia late Sunday evening. Miyares narrowly defeated Virginia Beach attorney Chuck Smith in a convention ballot that went for three rounds. Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Member Leslie Haley was eliminated in the first round, followed by Northern Virginia attorney Jack White in the second round.

Ballot 1 – 100% Reporting

  1. Miyares- 4590 weighted votes/36.56%
  2. Smith- 4325 weighted votes/32.45%
  3. White- 1872 weighted votes/14.92%
  4. Haley- 1767 weighted votes/14.08%- ELIMINATED

Ballot 2 – 100% Reporting

  1. Miyares- 5298 weighted votes/ 42.2%
  2. Smith- 4975 weighted votes/ 39.63%
  3. White- 2282 weighted votes/18.72%- ELIMINATED

Ballot 3 – 99% Reporting

  1. Miyares- 6484 weighted votes/ 51.82%
  2. Smith- 6002 weighted votes/ 48.18%

Many had expected this to be a one ballot race for Attorney General, however Chuck Smith over-performed in Northern Virginia and in Central Virginia (5th Congressional District). The Smith campaign exceeded all expectations by making this race competitive even though many considered this a lock for Miyares.

In a surprising move, a majority of delegates (650 weighted votes) for Leslie Haley went to Chuck Smith on the second ballot. On the last ballot, Smith was unable to capture a majority of Jack White’s delegates.

Meanwhile, Miyares over-performed in Southwest Virginia, the Richmond metro area, and along the Interstate 81 Corridor. Political watchers speculate that Miyares’ over-performance is attributed to hiring former Trump Administration White House Political Affairs staffer Klarke Kilgore as campaign manager. Kilgore, a Scott County native and son of former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, brought a majority of the delegates from Southwest Virginia into the Miyares column.

Miyares’ Democratic opponent has yet to be determined. The Democratic Party of Virginia primary will be held on June 8th, 2021. The candidates in that primary are incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring and Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk).

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Matt Colt Hall is a reporter for The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattColtHall on Twitter. Send tips to [email protected].





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