The effort by a downstate delegate to knock off incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring in next year’s Democratic primary has picked up support from three local legislators.
Dels. Marcus Simon and Kathleen Murphy, whose districts include portions of McLean, and Del. Mark Keam, whose district includes portions of Vienna and Oakton, are among those who are supporting Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) in his bid to oust two-term Democratic attorney general Mark Herring, according to the Jones campaign.
The Jones team has been rolling out endorsements in recent weeks.
“I’m beyond honored to earn support from these leaders from across the commonwealth who believe in a new vision for our next Virginia decade,” the candidate said in a statement. “I am committed to uniting Virginians no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like.”
After first mulling whether to enter what is becoming an increasingly crowded Democratic field (at least for the moment) for governor, Herring instead opted to seek what would be a record third term as attorney general. He affirmed that decision several weeks ago.
Coming out of the legislature from Loudoun County into statewide office seven years ago, Herring has tacked progressively left as his party marched in that direction. But it appears Jones may be attempting to outflank him, positioning the incumbent as emblematic of an earlier Virginia and himself as symbolic of the future.
“He has an outside chance” of victory, one local elected official (and Herring supporter) said of Jones’s efforts.
Jones has picked up backing from more than half his Democratic colleagues in the House of Delegates – although Del. Rip Sullivan, who represents a portion of McLean, is not among them. But the challenger has had more limited success in the state Senate. None of the senators in the Sun Gazette coverage area has endorsed his bid.
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