Herring: Best Job Ever as Attorney General
What a difference a year makes.When Attorney General Mark Herring visited the Han-over Democratic Committee’s Blue Moon Bash last year, he was in the heat of a tightly contested race, and the election’s outcome was anybody’s guess.
Twelve months later, Herring has what he described as the best job he’s ever had, and is part of a Democratic team that now holds all three of the state’s top elected offices.
“If memory serves me correctly, the last time I was at a Hanover Democratic Commit-tee function, I was a candidate for attorney general,” Herring said. “I’m happy to report I’ve been installed as Virginia’s 48th attorney general,” he told more than 100 guests.
Herring said he is enjoying his first months on the job, even with the controversial issues his office has faced, including gay rights and immigration.
“I love the law and I love public policy, and I love helping people and I get all three of those in my job as attorney general,” Herring said.
He emphasized the importance of local politics to the group of Hanover Democrats, citing his four years as a member of the Loudon County Board of Supervisors.
“I can honestly say the four years I served as a county supervisor were some of the most fulfilling because the work you do is right there in the community you live, work and raise your family in,” Herring said.
Last year’s election for attorney general was one of the closest in Virginia history, and Herring said there’s an up-side to such a close race.
“You get an appreciation for how important it is to make sure that everyone is pulling as hard as they can,” Herring said.
He thanked the committee members for their continued work during the period following the election, and asked for their continued support for in-cumbent U.S. Senate candidate Mark Warner.
Herring also expressed his support for Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to expand Medicare coverage in Virginia.
“I’m still hopeful and optimistic and I think the governor is doing a great job,” Herring said.
The attorney general has assumed some controversial stands in his first months on the job, and he makes no apologies for those actions.
“I can’t tell you how great it is to be in a job where I get to fight for the rights of all Virginians,” Herring said. “They’ve tried to impeach me, they’ve tried to disbar me and do everything they can, but none of that is going to bully or intimidate me in to doing something I don’t think is right.”
Early in his tenure, Herring announced he would not defend Virginia’s ban on gay marriage statutes.
He also has backed new Chesapeake Bay regulations that require counties to take extensive measures to reduce pollution runoff. Some interests have challenged the regulations, but Herring stands by his decision to defend the new guidelines.
“We’ve come together with a promising plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay,” Herring said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a decision in a couple of months in a favorable way.”
Those positions haven’t escaped the notice of county Democrats, including vice chair Toni Radler, last year’s candidate for the 55th District House of Delegates seat in the Virginia General Assembly.
“Attorney General Herring has been really brave. It was exciting to hear him and I think he’s a hero already,” Radler said.
This year’s event was moved from the Hanover Tavern to the Hanover Arts and Activities Center due to an increased demand for tickets.
Party chair Gordon Silver said that’s a good sign. “This was an exciting and great event. It doesn’t feel overcrowded like it has in the past. We pulled off a great event tonight,” he said.
He also commended his members for their hard work and dedication. “These are the real grassroots people who show up and knock on doors and do incredible things for us.”
Ashland Mayor Faye O. Prichard and Town Council member James Murray also attended the event.