Ending speculation that he may seek to run for governor of Virginia in 2017, Virginia’s Democratic attorney general Mark Herring announced yesterday that he will seek re-election to his current post. This means that Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam will probably be the Democratic front runner seeking the governor’s job in the 2017 election. Herring won in 2013 by less than 200 votes statewide and, among other things, played a major role in the legal process that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality for all citizens, including lesbians and gays.
In response to Herring’s announcement that he is seeking re-election, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker said, “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 Health, harassing a scientist at the University of Virginia and leading a failed lawsuit against the Afforadable Care Act. Mark has shown a completely different approach, one that prioritizes the law and the people of Virginia.”