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Peter’s Take: Mark Herring for Attorney General

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Peter RousselotAs also has been true in this year’s election for Lieutenant Governor, the race for Virginia Attorney General has been overshadowed by the scandals engulfing current Governor Bob McDonnell and current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

In the AG race, the contrasts also are stark. The Democratic candidate, Mark Herring, is a moderate Democrat.

Herring lives in Loudoun County where he has a private law practice, working in several legal specialties, including land use and zoning, civil litigation, and municipal law. In 1999, he was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. He served as Chairman of the Land Use Committee, and was a strong advocate for economic development and transportation improvements.

First elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2006, Herring has worked to bring technology-based economic development to the Northern Virginia region, and has been a leader in making both state and local governments more accountable.  He has led efforts to keep dangerous new synthetic drugs out of circulation.  He has advocated for legislation to target those who attempt to commit financial scams against seniors. He has sponsored and passed legislation to strengthen penalties for acts of domestic violence.

Herring’s sensible platform as our next Attorney General includes initiatives to keep Virginia’s families safe, defend civil rights, protect consumers, and safeguard our natural resources.

By contrast to Herring’s mainstream record and goals for the Attorney General’s office, his opponent, Mark Obenshain, has a far-right-wing, extreme record:

Obenshain sponsored a bill in 2009 that would have made it a crime to fail to report a miscarriage to the police. [SB962]

Along with Cuccinelli, Obenshain co-sponsored so-called personhood legislation. The Associated Press explained that under this legislation, “by giving embryos the constitutional protection of personhood from the instant of fertilization, abortions of all types would become illegal.” [Associated Press, 2/6/2007] The legislation Obenshain and Cuccinelli co-sponsored also would have banned some forms of birth control.

Obenshain voted against workplace protections against discrimination for gay and lesbian Virginians in 2013, 2011, and 2010. [SB701, SB747, SB66]

Electing Mark Obenshain as Attorney General is equivalent to giving Ken Cuccinelli a second term in that office.

The choice is clear: Mark Herring for Attorney General.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

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