Mark Herring, Virginia’s AG, makes re-election bid official

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says legalizing marijuana is key to promoting equity in the Commonwealth. (WSLS)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is making his re-election bid official.

Herring announced in a public letter and video released early Wednesday morning that he would seek a third term. The Associated Press has previously reported that Herring told several elected officials of his plans in September.

“Together we’ll work to keep you and your communities safe, fighting policies that fuel racism, hate, and violence because we believe in justice for all Virginians. That means dismantling systemic racism, expanding opportunity, and holding law enforcement accountable to the communities they serve,” he said in the video.

Herring is a former state senator who became attorney general in 2014. He easily won re-election in 2017 as voters unhappy with President Donald Trump gave Democrats a huge boost at the polls.

Herring has been a frequent critic of the president and a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, immigrant-friendly policies and stricter gun control. He was one of three high-ranking Democrats caught up in a wave of scandals last year when he acknowledged he had worn blackface in college.

Since then, Herring has posted lackluster fundraising totals and his future in public office has been unclear. He told the Washington Post in 2018 that he was planning to run for governor in the 2021 election, but decided to forego that bid

Del. Jay Jones, also a Democrat, has announced plans to run for attorney general.