Home Virginia Politics Mark Herring Announces for Reelection as Virginia Attorney General

Mark Herring Announces for Reelection as Virginia Attorney General


So, with the following announcement (which I’d heard rumors about in recent weeks) that Mark Herring will run for reelection as AG, that: a) clears the field for Ralph Northam, all but assuring him of the Democratic gubernatorial nomnination in 2017; b) Mark Herring can continue his excellent work as Attorney General for four more years (I’d hope that Herring’s second term would focus heavily on challenging corporate control of our government by Dominion Power in particular, making Virginia friendly to clean energy, and protecting the environment), assuming of course that he wins the general election; c) it sets Herring up to run for governor in 2021 (which I think will be a better time, potentially, for a Democrat to be governor anyway, as perhaps by then we’ll have made some gains in the General Assembly); and d) the only contested Democratic primary contest in 2017 will likely be for Lt. Governor (I’ve heard Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn and Charniele Herring – also just heard Del. Jennifer McClellan – mentioned as possible candidates, wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a bunch more jump in as well).

With that, here’s Attorney General Herring’s announcement.

“Serving as Attorney General has been the highest honor of my career. I love practicing law, I love public policy, and most of all, I love helping people. This job asks me to do all three every single day.

“Over the last 20 months, our Commonwealth has made historic progress that has changed lives for the better. We have shown an increasingly diverse and dynamic Commonwealth a new vision for this job, how it intersects with Virginians lives, and what can be accomplished when the attorney general prioritizes the law and the people he serves.

“We successfully fought in the courts for marriage equality and made college more affordable for DREAMers. We led the Governor’s task force to help Virginia become a national leader on reducing campus sexual violence. We led 22 states in the fight to successfully defend affordable healthcare from yet another cynical, political attack at the Supreme Court. We corrected erroneous legal advice that threatened to shut down clinics and restrict women’s access to healthcare services.

“We responded on multiple fronts to the growing crises of heroin and prescription drug abuse, putting drug traffickers behind bars and working with Republicans on a strong, bipartisan legislative response to help save lives. We’ve enhanced our efforts to put away predators who try to exploit children online, kept dangerous criminals behind bars, and provided critical training to help law enforcement dismantle gangs, prevent and respond to domestic violence, and to help young people stay on the right side of the law.

“We brought the services of the office into communities across Virginia with our first-ever regional outreach coordinators, and hired the Commonwealth’s first local jail re-entry coordinator to help ex-offenders turn their lives around. When the Commonwealth was on the verge of shutting down innovative ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and when Sweet Briar College stood on the edge of collapse, we showed that creativity, collaboration, and communication can still solve difficult problems.

“We took on out-of-state special interests that were attacking our Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan and we won. We helped end a decades-long dispute that finally got tens of millions of dollars in natural gas royalties to Southwest Virginia landowners. We have stood up for Virginia consumers by fighting for lower electric bills and utility rates. We have recovered millions of dollars lost to illegal business practices, and are seeking to hold big Wall Street banks accountable for damaging our state pensions. And we are working to restore the public trust by enacting the Office’s first ethics policy and a strict gift ban.

“These milestones would not have been reached without the right team exercising the powers and responsibilities of the Office of Attorney General. That means this hard-won progress is as fragile as the next election.

“Our future progress as a Commonwealth requires an attorney general who is fiercely and fearlessly committed to promoting justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians.

“For that reason, I plan to run for re-election as Attorney General.

“Some of the path forward is clear for the Commonwealth, but we’ll face challenges in the years ahead that we can’t yet imagine. I believe Virginians will again entrust this office to someone who is ready to tackle those challenges, who shares their values, and who fights for them every single day.

“They have that champion in Governor Terry McAuliffe, with whom we have worked hand-in-hand on so many of these initiatives. Virginians will find that champion as well in Ralph Northam – and I will work as hard as I can to help elect him governor. Together, we will keep Virginia moving forward.”

  • In response to Attorney General Mark Herring’s announcement that he is seeking re-election in 2017, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement:

    “I am so proud that Mark Herring is ready to build upon the progress he’s made as Attorney General and is seeking the office for a second term. There’s so much at stake in the next election; after all, Virginians haven’t forgotten the disastrous results of an Attorney General’s office controlled by Republicans for two decades. It wasn’t so long ago that Ken Cuccinelli brought his right-wing ideology to the job by bullying the state Board of Heath, harassing a scientist at UVA, and leading a failed Affordable Care Act suit.

    Mark has shown a completely different approach to being Attorney General – one that prioritizes the law and the people of Virginia. I welcome his decision to run for re-election and look forward to continuing the great work he’s done for the Commonwealth.”

  • “I was very pleased to hear that Attorney General Mark Herring has announced he will seek reelection in 2017,” said Delegate Rip Sullivan. “Mark has been a terrific, bold Attorney General—Virginia’s best Attorney General in decades. He has done a tremendous job fighting for every Virginian in an increasingly dynamic and diverse Commonwealth. I look forward to seeing the remarkable achievements he will accomplish during the rest of this term and what I expect will be his second term.

    I not only endorse Attorney General Herring as he runs for another term, but I also strongly support Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam to be the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2017. As an accomplished legislator with significant experience navigating the closely-divided Senate, I know that Lieutenant Governor Northam will build a winning coalition in 2017.

    While the Republicans continue to fight each other, we Democrats are working together to ensure that Virginia will remain the best place to live, work, do business and raise a family. I look forward to working with Attorney General Herring and Lieutenant Governor Northam as they prepare for the 2017 election.”

  • Mark Herring has done a terrific job as Attorney General and I enthusiastically support his reelection bid. He has shown great leadership in a wide variety of areas, from promoting marriage equality to combating campus sexual violence to attacking the epidemic of heroin use and prescription drug abuse. He has shown that he will protect and defend the interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth, and deserves our full support.

  • “Attorney General Mark Herring’s announcement today that he will seek reelection to his post in 2017 is a thoughtful and courageous decision.

    “In Virginia the Attorney General’s office issues legal opinions, prosecutes crimes, enforces laws and promotes equal protection for all of our citizens.

    “Attorney General Herring has distinguished himself in all of those roles in his first 20 months in office. He now has positioned himself to make a lasting mark on the Commonwealth’s jurisprudence that will provide clarity and continuity in the years ahead. ‎I applaud his decision and will enthusiastically support his reelection in 2017.”

  • kindler

    1.  I’ve actually been looking forward to Herring running for governor more than I have for any other recent VA race, so I have to admit this was a let-down for me.

    2. That said, the contrast with what happened with the Cuccinelli vs. Bolling disaster on the GOP side last time around is a telling example of us vs. them.  The fact that Mark is willing to make this sacrifice says a lot about his integrity, self-discipline and ability to take the long view.

    3. While contentious primaries can be damaging, I sure hope this doesn’t lead Northam to think he can just coast his way into the governor’s seat.  More and more, Democrats are looking for real progressives with passion — even as they also need to have the smarts to appeal to enough independents to win.  Just oozing along in the mushy middle ain’t gonna cut it anymore.

    4. It’s a good sign that VA Dems have developed enough of a bench to have attractive contenders looking this far into the future.

  • Friends,

    Earlier today, Attorney General Mark Herring announced his plans for reelection as our Attorney General. Mark is a good friend and a former seatmate of mine in the Virginia Senate.

    In just 20 months, Mark has changed the course of our history by fighting for marriage equality, Dreamers, the Chesapeake Bay, and a host of other important issues. Virginia is stronger with Mark Herring as Attorney General, and I am proud to stand with Mark and endorse him in his run for reelection.

    He has my full support – and I hope he has yours.

    Mark is running for re-election because this progress is ‘as fragile as the next election,’ and we all know success has made him a target.

    As we have seen recently, elections have consequences. 2013 was a historic election for the Democratic Party in Virginia. Governor McAuliffe, myself, and Attorney General Herring were all elected, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

    We are working together this year to take back our Democratic majority in the Senate and pick up seats in the House of Delegates. Next year, it’s critical we deliver Virginia as a blue state on election night, and going into 2017 I am excited to be part of a strong, unified Democratic Party.

    Every day I work with Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Herring to help grow the New Virginia Economy, expand early childhood education, and improve our mental health system. Over the past couple of years, we have accomplished a great deal working as a team and I look forward to continuing our work together in the years to come.

    As one of the most dynamic Attorneys General in Virginia history, I am excited about Attorney General Herring’s plans to run for reelection and wanted to make sure I shared this important news with you.

    Take care,


  • “Attorney General Mark Herring has been a champion for justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians. He has also been a hero for Virginia’s Latino and immigrant communities. From expanding in-state tuition for Virginia’s DREAMer children to fighting for marriage equality to defending Virginia’s natural environment and the Chesapeake Bay, he has proven to be a bold and forward-thinking leader. I strongly support his reelection so that he can continue working to defend and build on the progress he has made as Attorney General.”