Republican Jason Miyares defeats two-term Democrat Mark Herring for Virginia attorney general

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Mark Herring and Jason Miyares on a red and blue background with the words “Virginia AG.”

Mark Herring and Jason Miyares. Tasos Katopodis/Getty; Cliff Owen/AP; Shayanne Gal/Insider

  • Republican Jason Miyares on Tuesday defeated Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring.

  • Miyares, a current state lawmaker and ex-prosecutor, is the state’s first Latino attorney general.

  • His victory marks another big statewide win for Virginia Republicans.

Republican Jason Miyares defeated Democratic incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring in Virginia on Tuesday.

Polls in Virginia closed at 7 p.m. ET.

The candidates:

Miyares has served as a Republican member of Virginia’s House of Delegates, which encompasses part of Virginia Beach, since 2016. He was the first Cuban American elected to the General Assembly, and has often highlighted his Cuban background on the campaign trail by telling the story of his mother’s immigration to the US in 1965. He makes history as the state’s first Latino attorney general.

Miyares has touted his experience as a former prosecutor to set himself apart from his rival. He’s criticized how Democrats in office have handled public safety and is running “to keep our communities safe and secure,” which includes fighting human trafficking, supporting the police, and restoring law and order, according to his campaign website. Miyares opposes increased gun-control policies and says gun violence should be solved by targeting criminals.

Miyares also opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies. He’s voted against Medicaid expansion and a minimum-wage increase.

“People know I’m a middle-of-the-road guy. I call balls and strikes,” Miyares told WJLA. “I want to be a thoughtful and reasonable attorney general.”

Herring, first elected in 2013, lost his bid for third term in office. He defeated fellow Democratic challenger Jerrauld Jones by over 13 points in the June primary.

Herring previously represented Virginia Senate’s 33rd District, which covers parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, for eight years. His hometown is Leesburg, Virginia, where he established his own law firm before seeking public office.

During his tenure as attorney general, Herring fought to uphold same-sex marriage, decriminalize marijuana, and protect the state’s environment. He also successfully defended the Affordable Care Act against a Trump administration challenge at the US Supreme Court.

Herring told local TV station WJLA that he’s running “to continue the progress we’ve been making in Virginia.” His platform addressed building the economy, fighting for equality, tackling the opioid epidemic, and reducing gun violence.

The stakes:

Miyares ran alongside Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s new governor-elect, and Winsome Sears, the state’s new lieutenant governor-elect. Herring was on a ticket with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Hala Ayala.

These three statewide races posed a significant electoral test of the Democratic Party’s strength in the commonwealth since President Joe Biden took office in January.

If he’d been elected, Herring would have become one of the longest-serving attorneys general in Virginia’s history.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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