Ralph Northam

When Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam looks back at his tenure, the inflection point between being a run-of-the-mill executive and the progressive leader he has become is a painful one.

The scandal — born of the discovery of a decades-old yearbook photo that featured someone in blackface — was an existential crisis for Northam and his administration. After initially saying the person in question was him, he denied it but admitted to darkening his skin as part of a Michael Jackson dance contest in 1984. Almost every Virginia Democrat called for his ouster as the state examined its racist past. Those closest to Northam said he was close to resigning.

How the governor survived was a surprise even to his most ardent supporters. The man who was nearly thrown out of office by his own party has, in the two years since, become a progressive champion, working with the same Democrats who called for his resignation to tighten gun laws in the commonwealth, restore the voting rights to nearly 70,000 felons, approve voting rights legislation and abolish the death penalty in the state. And just this week Northam signed legislation that would legalize marijuana this summer, the first Southern state to do so.

Current Position: Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Lt. Governor from 2014 – 2018; State Senator from 2008 – 2014

Governor Ralph Northam addresses the Virginia House of Delegates, January 20, 2020. 

“Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.”

Featured video: Annual address to Virginia senators, delegates and supreme court justices on Jan. 8, 2020 in the Richmond State Capitol building. Content from the original Virginia House of Delegates recording has not been edited in any way.

Source: Government page

Justin Fairfax

Current Position: Lt. Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 Governor

Justin Farifax has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader.

In 2013, at the age of 34, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. He most recently served as a top commercial and white-collar criminal litigator in the Northern Virginia office of the prestigious law firm, Venable, LLP, which he departed in January 2018 to focus on his duties as Lieutenant Governor during his first General Assembly session.

Mark Herring

Current Position: Attorney General since 2014
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2007 – 2013

As Attorney General, Mark has assembled an elite team of prosecutors to crack down on heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and those who attempt to exploit our children online.

He is helping survivors of sexual assault pursue justice by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits to find and prosecute criminals.

He has made communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns and promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. And he has worked to improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve with innovative training and recruiting initiatives

Ralph NorthamRalph Northam

Current Position: Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Lt. Governor from 2014 – 2018; State Senator from 2008 – 2014

Governor Ralph Northam addresses the Virginia House of Delegates, January 20, 2020. 

“Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.”

Featured video: Annual address to Virginia senators, delegates and supreme court justices on Jan. 8, 2020 in the Richmond State Capitol building. Content from the original Virginia House of Delegates recording has not been edited in any way.

Source: Government page

When Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam looks back at his tenure, the inflection point between being a run-of-the-mill executive and the progressive leader he has become is a painful one.

The scandal — born of the discovery of a decades-old yearbook photo that featured someone in blackface — was an existential crisis for Northam and his administration. After initially saying the person in question was him, he denied it but admitted to darkening his skin as part of a Michael Jackson dance contest in 1984. Almost every Virginia Democrat called for his ouster as the state examined its racist past. Those closest to Northam said he was close to resigning.

How the governor survived was a surprise even to his most ardent supporters. The man who was nearly thrown out of office by his own party has, in the two years since, become a progressive champion, working with the same Democrats who called for his resignation to tighten gun laws in the commonwealth, restore the voting rights to nearly 70,000 felons, approve voting rights legislation and abolish the death penalty in the state. And just this week Northam signed legislation that would legalize marijuana this summer, the first Southern state to do so.

Top News

When Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam looks back at his tenure, the inflection point between being a run-of-the-mill executive and the progressive leader he has become is a painful one.

The scandal — born of the discovery of a decades-old yearbook photo that featured someone in blackface — was an existential crisis for Northam and his administration. After initially saying the person in question was him, he denied it but admitted to darkening his skin as part of a Michael Jackson dance contest in 1984. Almost every Virginia Democrat called for his ouster as the state examined its racist past. Those closest to Northam said he was close to resigning.

How the governor survived was a surprise even to his most ardent supporters. The man who was nearly thrown out of office by his own party has, in the two years since, become a progressive champion, working with the same Democrats who called for his resignation to tighten gun laws in the commonwealth, restore the voting rights to nearly 70,000 felons, approve voting rights legislation and abolish the death penalty in the state. And just this week Northam signed legislation that would legalize marijuana this summer, the first Southern state to do so.

Summary

Current Position: Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Lt. Governor from 2014 – 2018; State Senator from 2008 – 2014

Governor Ralph Northam addresses the Virginia House of Delegates, January 20, 2020. 

“Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.”

Featured video: Annual address to Virginia senators, delegates and supreme court justices on Jan. 8, 2020 in the Richmond State Capitol building. Content from the original Virginia House of Delegates recording has not been edited in any way.

Source: Government page

About

Ralph Northam 3

Source: Government page

Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor.

A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he graduated with distinction.

After graduation, Governor Northam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major.

He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and then traveled to San Antonio for a pediatric residency, where he met his wife Pamela, a pediatric occupational therapist at the same hospital.  Governor Northam did his residencies at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and served as chief neurological resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As an Army doctor, he served in Germany, treating soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm.

When Governor Northam and Pamela returned home, they chose to build their life in Hampton Roads. He began practicing pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He established Children’s Specialty Group, his current medical practice, to provide expert pediatric care for patients. Governor Northam also served as assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he taught medicine and ethics.

Governor Northam volunteered as medical director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, where he spent 18 years caring for terminally ill children.

Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service.  He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.

Governor Northam is the first native of the Eastern Shore to serve as Governor since Governor Henry A. Wise took office 1856. He is also the first VMI Keydet to serve as Governor since Governor Westmoreland Davis took office in 1918.

Governor Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have two adult children: Wes, a neurosurgical resident in Chapel Hill, and Aubrey, a web developer in Richmond.

Experience

Work Experience

  • pediatric neurologist
    Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.[
    1992 to present
  • medical officer
    United States Army
    1982 to 1984

Education

  • MD
    Eastern Virginia Medical School
    1984
  • BA
    Virginia Military Institute
    1981

Contact

Email:

Offices

Richmond Office
Virginia Governor
Ralph Northam
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: 804-786-2211

Web

Government Page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

Twitter

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

Prior to entering politics, Northam voted for Republican George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, a fact that opponents raised in later Democratic primaries. Northam says that he was apolitical at the time and regretted those votes, saying: “Politically, there was no question, I was underinformed.”

Virginia State Senate

Northam first ran for office in 2007 in the Virginia 6th Senate district, which includes the Eastern Shore of Virginia; Mathews County, on the Middle Peninsula; and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. On November 6, 2007, he defeated Nick Rerras, a two-term Republican incumbent, 17,307 votes to 14,499.

He was re-elected in November 2011, defeating Ben Loyola Jr., a defense contractor, 16,606 votes to 12,622.

One of Northam’s first major activities as a state legislator was to lead an effort to pass a ban on smoking in restaurants in Virginia. The bill failed the first time, but was passed the next year and signed into law by Governor Tim Kaine.

In 2009, Northam—a self-described “conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social issues” was the subject of an attempt by state Senate Republicans to get him to switch parties. This action would have given Republicans control of the State Senate, but after news of the imminent switch broke on Twitter, Democrats held a closed-door meeting, and Northam reiterated that he was not leaving the party. He later said, “I guess it’s nice to be wanted, but I’m a Democrat, and that’s where I’m staying.”

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

Northam ran for lieutenant governor as Terry McAuliffe’s running mate.

Northam ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election. Northam competed against U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic nomination. On June 11, 2013, Northam won the Democratic primary over Chopra with 54% of the vote to Chopra’s 46%.

On November 5, 2013, Northam was elected as Virginia’s 40th Lieutenant Governor over Republican E. W. Jackson by a 10% margin, receiving 55% of the vote to Jackson’s 45%.Northam was the first Democrat since Tim Kaine in 2001 to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

2017 gubernatorial election

In February 2015, just over a year into his term as lieutenant governor, Northam confirmed his interest in running for Governor of Virginia in 2017.  He made these intentions official on November 17, 2015, via an email to supporters.

Northam faced former congressman Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary. The primary campaign was seen as a proxy battle between the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party, represented by Perriello, and the wing, represented by Northam. On June 13, 2017, Northam won the Democratic nomination with 56% of the vote to Perriello’s 44%. He faced Republican nominee Ed Gillespie in the general election.

Northam’s campaign funds were heavily depleted by the end of the primary race. He was left with around $1.75 million, which amounted to roughly half of Gillespie’s remaining funds. But by the end of summer 2017 Northam’s war chest had grown “twice as large [as Gillespie’s] heading into the last two months of the campaign, according to finance reports.” Northam led Gillespie among small donors, as well: “5,900 donations under $100 to Gillespie’s 2,100.”

In October 2017, the Northam campaign released a small number of flyers omitting Northam’s running-mate for Lieutenant Governor,Justin Fairfax. These were released at the request of Laborers’ International Union of North America, which had endorsed Northam (and Northam’s running mate for Attorney General, Mark Herring, who was included on the flyer), but not Fairfax. LIUNA explained that Fairfax opposes the construction of natural gas pipelines that are favored by the organization. As Fairfax is black, while Northam and Herring are both white, some activists criticized the decision to accommodate LIUNA’s request. All houses that received the LIUNA flyers also received standard campaign flyers including Fairfax.

During the campaign, Gillespie and President Donald Trump accused Northam of being responsible for the increased activities of theMS-13 gangs and of being “in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous illegal immigrants back on the streets.” Gillespie and Trump said that Northam had been the deciding vote to stop a Republican bill in the state Senate which would have banned sanctuary cities and that this contributed to the surge in MS-13 violence; a notion that FactCheck.org found to be “misleading”. TheWashington Post and CNN noted that there are no actual sanctuary cities in Virginia. Gillespie himself acknowledged that Virginia did not have sanctuary cities. The Washington Post furthermore noted that there is no evidence that sanctuary cities increase crime or gang activity, and that Virginia communities with higher immigrant populations have lower crime rates.

Later that month, the Latino Victory Fund, which supports Northam, released an ad in which a pickup truck, adorned with a Gillespie bumper sticker, a “Don’t tread on me” license plate, and a Confederate flag, chases down minority children and corners them in an alley—one of the children in the ad then wakes up, revealing the scene to have been a nightmare.[42][43] Although Northam and his campaign were not involved with the ad, Northam initially defended it, saying Gillespie’s own ads “have promoted fearmongering, hatred, bigotry, racial divisiveness,” and adding, “I mean, it’s upset a lot of communities, and they have the right to express their views as well.” The ad was pulled the following day in the hours after the terrorist attack in New York City, in which a man killed several people by running them over with a truck. Northam then distanced himself from the ad, re-emphasizing that it was not released by his campaign and saying that it is not one that he would have chosen to run. A spokesman for the campaign said that the Latino Victory Fund’s decision to pull the ad was “appropriate and the right thing to do.” FOX 5 DC reported that the Northam campaign had accepted $62,000 as an in-kind media contribution from the Latino Victory Fund.

In the final week of the campaign, Northam stated that he would as governor sign a bill to ban sanctuary cities in Virginia similar to a bill he had voted against in the state Senate earlier in 2017. In response, the progressive group Democracy for America stated that it stopped direct aid of Northam’s campaign. Howard Dean, who founded Democracy for America, but left the organization in 2016, wrote on Twitter that the organization had discredited itself and called its decision to stop aiding Northam’s campaign “incredibly stupid”. Democracy for America had already stopped collecting data for Northam and had ceased mentioning him in get-out-the-vote calls due to his campaign’s decision to remove Justin Fairfax from certain campaign fliers.

Northam held campaign rallies with former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden during the general election campaign.

According to the Washington Post, Northam owns stock in several companies “doing extensive work in Virginia”. Northam has stated that if elected governor, he would place his financial investments into a blind trust, so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, as of November 3, 2017, Northam has raised $33.8 million to Gillespie’s $24.5 million.

Northam was elected 73rd Governor of Virginia on November 7, 2017, defeating Ed Gillespie in the general election with a larger-than-expected nine-point margin of victory.

Governor of Virginia

Northam was sworn in as Governor of Virginia at noon on January 13, 2018 at the State Capitol. He became the second Eastern Shore native to serve as Governor of Virginia, after Henry A. Wise (who was elected in 1855) and the second alumnus of Virginia Military Institute to serve as governor, after Westmoreland Davis (who was elected in 1917). A majority of Northam’s cabinet secretaries are female, a first in Virginia history. Residents from every county in Virginia attended Northam’s inauguration (which reportedly marked another first for the state) and twenty-six groups participated in the inaugural parade, which has been called the largest and most diverse in state history.

Recent Elections

2017 Governor

Ralph Northam (D)1,408,81853.9%
Edward Walter Gillespie (R)1,175,73245.0%
Clifford Daniel Hyra (L)27,9871.1%
Write in (Write-in)1,5280.1%
TOTAL2,614,065

2013 Lt. Governor

Ralph Northam (D)1,213,15555.1%
Earl Walker Jackson, Sr. (R)980,25744.5%
Write in (Write-in)8,2250.4%
TOTAL2,201,637

2011 State Senator

Ralph Northam (D)16,60656.8%
Benito Loyola, Jr. (R)12,62243.1%
Write in (Write-in)310.1%
TOTAL29,259

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

NORTHAM, RALPH S has run in 4 races for public office, winning 4 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $41,626,149

Source: Follow the Money

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

Issues

Source: Wikipedia

The Washington Post described Northam as a moderate state senator who moved to the left on some issues during the 2017 gubernatorial Democratic primary, such as support for a $15 minimum wage and opposition to a state constitutional amendment enshrining right-to-work legislation.

Civil Rights

Abortion

Northam supports abortion rights. In the Virginia General Assembly, he opposed a bill to mandate vaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, and voted against the bill when it was revised to mandate only abdominal ultrasounds. He was endorsed in the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial primary by the abortion rights group NARALand its Virginia affiliate. Northam has argued for reducing abortion rates through education and expanding access to contraceptives.[126] Planned Parenthood pledged to spend $3 million supporting Northam in his 2017 general election campaign for governor. Northam opposes banning abortions after 20 weeks through a state version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

For third-trimester abortions, Northam supports Virginia’s current law requiring certification by multiple physicians. During a January 2019 radio interview, Northam said that third-trimester abortions may be done in cases of a non-viable fetus or severe deformity. If a delivery occurred in such cases, Northam further stated that, “The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” This statement drew intense criticism from Republican politicians nationwide, many of whom accused Northam of supporting infanticide

LGBTQ rights

Northam has supported LGBT rights throughout his political career. While running for lieutenant governor in 2013, he criticized his Republican opponent, E. W. Jackson, for making what were widely considered to be divisive statements about LGBT individuals. During a debate with Jackson, who is a minister, Northam said, “What I do in church translates to what I do in everyday life. Whether it’s said in my church or whether it’s said in my medical clinic or whether it’s said before the Senate, it’s on me and it’s what I believe in.” That summer, when the United States Defense Department began offering marriage benefits to military personnel in same-sex relationships, Northam and Jackson disagreed with each other on the issue. Jackson said that because gay marriage was illegal in Virginia at the time, the state should withhold benefits from gay couples serving in its National Guard, while Northam supported the federal policy. Northam said that equalizing benefits for gay couples in the United States military is about “being fair with those who have served our country.”

During the 2013 campaign, Northam said that opposition to LGBT rights would create an unwelcoming business environment in Virginia. In 2015, he used his tie-breaking abilities as lieutenant governor to defeat a bill in the state Senate that would have forced Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to defend the state’s gay marriage ban; Herring had argued that the ban was unconstitutional.

In 2017, while running for governor, Northam spoke against the Physical Privacy Act, a bill proposed that year in Virginia, which if passed, would have required people in government facilities to use restrooms corresponding to the gender specified on their original birth certificates. Northam called the Physical Privacy Act a “job-killing, prejudicial bill”.[198] Later that same year, before Northam was elected governor, the Physical Privacy Act was defeated in the state legislature.

Northam condemned the decision by President Donald Trump to ban transgender service members from the United States military. Shortly after Trump announced this policy, Northam tweeted, “Anyone who wants to serve our country in the military should be welcomed. They’re patriots and should be treated as such.”

Northam’s first official action as governor was to sign an executive order banning the executive branch of the state government from discriminating against LGBTQ employees. The state of Virginia currently does not have any legislation protecting LGBTQ employees from employment discrimination. Protections on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity that had been established through an executive order issued by Northam’s gubernatorial predecessor, Terry McAuliffe,[f] were maintained by Northam’s own executive order, which went further, introducing, for the first time in Virginia, protection on the basis of gender expression.

While serving as lieutenant governor, Northam broke a tie in the state Senate, supporting a bill that would have codified into state law the protections included in McAuliffe’s aforementioned executive order. This bill was defeated in the House of Delegates. If passed, it would have applied to all state and local government employees in Virginia; each anti-discrimination executive order issued by a Virginia governor has only applied to employees under the governor’s personal authority.[208][219]Legislation that would have codified Northam’s own executive order into state law passed the state Senate in 2018 and 2019, but failed both years to pass in the House of Delegates.

Marijuana

Northam favors decriminalizing marijuana.

Democracy

Redistricting

During his 2017 campaign for governor, Northam said that if elected, he would approve a map of new Virginia legislative and congressional boundaries in the post-2020 redistricting only if it is drawn by a nonpartisan commission.

Campaign and voting legislation

n January 2019, Northam introduced legislation including bills to end Virginia’s photo ID law and a bill to allow absentee “no-excuse” voting to replace the current law which contains limits. He is also proposing new campaign finance limits that would block direct donations from corporations, cap donations at $10,000, and prohibit the personal use of campaign funds by lawmakers.[

Economy

Northam supports increasing Virginia’s minimum wage, which at $7.25 an hour, has not surpassed the federally mandated level set in 2009.[152][153] While serving as lieutenant governor in 2014, Northam broke a tie in the Virginia state Senate, passing a bill that would have increased the state’s minimum wage by increments.[152][154][155]Under the bill, the state’s minimum wage would have settled at $9.25 an hour, after two years.[156] The measure was never enacted due to failing in the Virginia House of Delegates.[152][155][156] Three years later, as a gubernatorial candidate, Northam proposed that Virginia set its minimum wage at $15 an hour.[152][c] As governor, Northam plans to campaign against Republican state legislators who oppose a higher minimum wage.[152] Northam has pointed to the costliness of transportation in rural parts of the state to dispute the notion that a $15 minimum wage is too high for those areas.[157] During Northam’s first year as governor, he vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that would have banned localized minimum wages for government contractors.[158]

During his 2017 campaign for governor, Northam was endorsed by the Laborers’ International Union of North America; the union praised Northam for his opposition to a “right-to-work” amendment to the Virginia state constitution.[159] Northam criticized the repeal of the car tax under former Governor Jim Gilmore because of its impact on both K-12 and higher education, saying Virginia still has not recovered.[160]

Northam “has called for phasing out the grocery tax on low-income people and ending business taxes in struggling rural areas.”[161] He has called for a bipartisan reform commission to make recommendations on state tax policy.

Education

Northam has proposed making it free for students to pursue a community college education or apprenticeship in a high-demand field (such as cybersecurity and early-childhood education) under the condition that they commit to a year of paid public service.[67]

Northam opposes public funding for private schools.

Environment

Environment and energy

Northam accepts the scientific consensus on climate change and as a candidate for governor vowed to lead efforts to fight climate change. He pledged, if elected, to bring Virginia into the United States Climate Alliance, a multi-state agreement to uphold greenhouse gas emissions standards. Northam has emphasized the negative effects of climate-change-induced sea level rise on Virginia’s Tidewater region.

During his 2017 campaign for governor, Northam pledged if elected to continue implementing the total maximum daily load limits for nitrogen and phosphorus discharges into Chesapeake Bay, a policy that had reduced harmful algal blooms. Northam said he would continue this policy even if the federal government under Donald Trump cut or eliminated funding for the program. During his campaign, Northam was endorsed by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and the Virginia Sierra Club.

Northam has offered conditional support for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, provided that the pipeline’s construction is deemed to be environmentally safe.[164][165] He has avoided taking a firm stance on other pipelines such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline.[166] He opposes both offshore drilling and fracking.

Northam has supported the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In 2019, he vetoed a bill that would have prohibited Virginia from entering into the initiative, but in May 2019, he chose not to veto language in the state budget that prohibits spending related to the initiative, because under Virginia law, governors are generally not allowed to issue line-item vetoes of the state budget. According to The Washington Post, had Northam issued the veto, it could have been challenged in court by the Republican-controlled legislature, and Northam wanted to avoid a long legal confrontation. Northam has said that he will seek to implement RGGI spending in future budgets.

Health Care

Northam supports the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), although he has argued that it is in need of improvement. After Republican attempts to repeal the law, Northam called for members of Congress to “put a stop to the uncertainty and work on stabilizing and building on the Affordable Care Act’s progress.”

Northam opposes a single-payer healthcare system in Virginia, preferring that such a plan be run by the federal government, but supports the creation of a state-run public health insurance option.[67]

On June 7, 2018, Northam signed a bipartisan bill expanding Medicaid in Virginia. This fulfilled one of his central campaign promises.[174][175] Northam’s gubernatorial predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, had tried throughout all four years of his own term in office to enact Medicaid expansion, but McAuliffe was never able to secure enough support from Republicans, who controlled the state legislature at the time. Following the 2017 election, which brought significant gains for Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republicans still held a narrow legislative majority; during this time however, opposition to Medicaid expansion diminished among Republicans, several of whom were willing to crossover in support of the bill. Once the bill was enacted on January 1, 2019, Virginia became the 33rd state to expand Medicaid and the first to do so since Louisiana in 2016. Enrollment in the expanded program began on November 1, 2018. By the beginning of 2019, more than 200,000 Virginians had enrolled in Medicaid as part of the expansion.

On February 21, 2019, Northam signed a bipartisan bill raising the smoking age in Virginia from eighteen to twenty-one.

Family leave and child care

When Northam was inaugurated as governor, the family leave policy for executive branch employees in the state of Virginia applied exclusively to employees who had given birth and offered only partial pay. In June 2018, Northam signed an executive order extending the policy to apply to both mothers and fathers, including not only biological parents but also adoptive and foster parents. Under the new policy, employees receive eight weeks off at full pay.[168] Earlier in the year, Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox had established a similar policy offering legislative branch employees twelve weeks of paid leave.

With regards to private sector employees, Northam has said that he wants to implement tax credits for small businesses that offer paid family leave.

In 2018, Northam formed a commission to study the possibility of offering child care to state employees in Richmond. Northam’s wife, Pam, serves on the panel.[

Immigration

In his 2007 campaign for state Senate, Northam “advocated for Virginia being ‘even more stringent than we are now in fighting illegal immigration,’ and said the state should act as ‘strong partners’ with federal law enforcement.” Northam’s rhetoric shifted in his 2017 gubernatorial campaign. In 2017 Northam pledged to “stand up against ICE” so that “people, especially immigrants, in Virginia aren’t living in fear,” saying: “Something that we are very proud of in Virginia is that we are inclusive.” He continued by saying “We will do everything we can to make sure immigrants are comfortable living here.” Northam opposed President Trump’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which offered temporary stay for unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as minors. Northam said Trump’s “decision lacks compassion, lacks moral sense, and lacks economic sense.” Northam supports granting state driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.

In February 2017, Northam cast a tie-breaking vote in the state Senate against a bill to ban sanctuary cities in Virginia. Northam said he was “proud to break a tie when Republicans tried to scapegoat immigrants for political gain” and that he was “glad to put a stop to” the bill. In an October 2017 debate, Northam said he did not support sanctuary cities, stating that there currently were none in Virginia, but Northam declined to say whether he would sign a bill as governor that was similar to the one he voted against in the Senate. In November 2017, Northam clarified that while he would veto any bill pre-emptively banning sanctuary cities in Virginia, he would support a ban, if sanctuary cities began appearing in the state. In April 2018, as governor, Northam vetoed a law that would have pre-emptively banned sanctuary cities in Virginia. He vetoed the same legislation again the following year.

Safety

Criminal justice

During Virginia’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign, both Northam and his opponent, Ed Gillespie, called for the state’s felony threshold on theft to be raised, which at $200, was then tied with New Jersey for lowest in the nation.[140][141] Set in 1980, the threshold’s value would have been equal to around $600 in 2017, if it had kept pace with inflation.[142] Outgoing governor Terry McAuliffe had attempted, during his final year in office, to raise the threshold to $500, but was unable to advance such a proposal through the legislature.[143][144] Both McAuliffe and Northam supported raising the threshold even further to $1,000,[141] which would have been more closely aligned with those found in a majority of other states,[142] while Gillespie approved of a $500 threshold.[145] Following Northam’s election to the governorship, The Washington Postidentified this issue as an opportunity for bipartisan legislation.[146]

In early February 2018, about a month after his inauguration as governor, Northam struck a deal with the Republican-controlled legislature to raise the felony threshold to $500; in exchange, Northam gave support to Republican-sponsored legislation that would require criminal defendants seeking parole to first pay full restitution to victims.[142][147] McAuliffe had vetoed a comparable restitution bill the previous year. The Washington Post’s editorial board called Northam’s compromise “a small step toward fairer justice in Virginia”, but voiced concern that the restitution bill would place an onerous burden on poor defendants; the editorial board also noted that the $500 threshold is still one of the country’s lowest and still, when adjusted for inflation, under the level that had been set in 1980.[147]

As governor, Northam signed into law a bill imposing a new mandatory minimum sentence for those who are convicted of murdering a police officer. Later during his term, in May 2019, he vowed against signing any further legislation imposing mandatory minimum sentences. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, he argued that such legislation is racially discriminatory and leads to over-incarceration.

Death penalty

Ralph Northam opposes the death penalty.

Guns

According to The Washington Post, Northam favors the “reinstatement of Virginia’s ‘one-gun-a-month’ law limiting purchases, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.

Confederate monuments

On the controversies over public monuments to the Confederacy, in June 2017 Northam stated that the statues in the state Capitol that the General Assembly has jurisdiction over “should be taken down and moved into museums”, and that the decision on other statues “belongs to local communities.” He has said that there should be more public memorials to historical Virginia civil rights leaders such as Barbara Rose Johns, Oliver Hill, and Samuel Wilbert Tucker. In August 2017, Northam took a firmer stance, saying, “I believe these statues should be taken down and moved into museums. As governor, I am going to be a vocal advocate for that approach and work with localities on this issue.”[137] Northam later reverted to his original stance that decisions on the monuments should be made locally.

Donald Trump

In a political commercial called “Listening”, run during the Virginia Democratic primary, Northam described the importance to him of listening – as a doctor, to his patients and as lieutenant governor, to his constituents. He ended with, “I’ve been listening carefully to Donald Trump, and I think he’s a narcissistic maniac.” As the general election drew near Northam said, “[I]f Donald Trump is helping Virginia, I’ll work with him.” Northam explained the “softer tone”: “I think people already know [their opinions of Trump] and they are judging for themselves. What we are talking about as we move forward are the policies that are coming out of Washington that are so detrimental to Virginia”

X
Justin FairfaxJustin Fairfax

Current Position: Lt. Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 Governor

Justin Farifax has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader.

In 2013, at the age of 34, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. He most recently served as a top commercial and white-collar criminal litigator in the Northern Virginia office of the prestigious law firm, Venable, LLP, which he departed in January 2018 to focus on his duties as Lieutenant Governor during his first General Assembly session.

Summary

Current Position: Lt. Governor since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 Governor

Justin Farifax has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader.

In 2013, at the age of 34, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. He most recently served as a top commercial and white-collar criminal litigator in the Northern Virginia office of the prestigious law firm, Venable, LLP, which he departed in January 2018 to focus on his duties as Lieutenant Governor during his first General Assembly session.

About

Justin Fairfax 2

Source: Government page

Justin was elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on November 7, 2017. Justin is only the second African-American in history, and the first in nearly 30 years since the tenure of Governor L. Douglas Wilder, to be elected to statewide office in Virginia. His Inauguration took place on January 13, 2018.

Justin, 39, has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader. In 2013, at the age of 34, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. He most recently served as a top commercial and white-collar criminal litigator in the Northern Virginia office of the prestigious law firm, Venable, LLP, which he departed in January 2018 to focus on his duties as Lieutenant Governor during his first General Assembly session.

He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit of the Alexandria Division. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, he was appointed to serve as the Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Prior to his service as a federal prosecutor, he worked as a litigator at WilmerHale, LLP in Washington, D.C., following his stint as a federal law clerk to United States District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

Justin received a scholarship to attend Columbia Law School where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review and earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005. He also received a scholarship to attend Duke University where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Public Policy Studies and was selected as the class graduation speaker for the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.

For more information:  Wikipedia   Ballotpedia  VPAP

Experience

Work Experience

  • commercial and white-collar criminal litigator
    Venable, LLP
  • Assistant United States Attorney
    Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit of the Alexandria Division
  • Litigator
    Wilmer-Hale, LLP

Education

  • JD
    Columbia Law School
    2005
  • BA, Public Policy Studies
    Duke University

Contact

Chief of Staff: Ed Reed
Outreach and Policy Director: Adele McClure
Constituent Services and Scheduling Director: Julia Billingsley

Email:

Offices

Capitol Office
Oliver Hill Building
102 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: 804-786-2078
Fax: 804-786-7514

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr

Twitter

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

Justin Fairfax was a briefing coordinator for Tipper Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore, in the campaign’s Nashville, Tennessee office.  Fairfax was also a staffer for Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, in the senator’s Washington office.

He served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee for two years before attendingColumbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review.[3]Fairfax then served as law clerk to Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2005. He worked in the Washington office of the law firm WilmerHale before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2010. Fairfax worked for two years as a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, Virginia. He served as deputy coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force during this time.

Fairfax ran for public office for the first time in 2013, seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. He lost to Mark Herring, but surprised party insiders with his strong performance in the primary. Herring defeated Fairfax by about 4,500 votes out of 141,600 cast in a closer-than-expected race. The Washington Post praised both candidates during the primary, but endorsed Fairfax, writing that he had displayed “an agile and impressive command of the issues with a prosecutor’s passion for justice.”

After the race, Fairfax co-chaired the 2014 re-election campaign of Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The following year, he was recruited to work at the law firm of Venable LLP, in the firm’s Tysons, Virginia office.

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (2018-present)

In 2017, Fairfax ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. In the Democratic primaries, he faced Gene Rossi, a federal prosecutor, who had trained Fairfax when they worked together in Alexandria’s Eastern District federal court, and Susan Platt, a political lobbyistand consultant, who had served as chief of staff to Joe Biden in the 1990s (Platt had also run Virginia Senator Chuck Robb’s 1994 re-election campaign and Don Beyer’s unsuccessful 1997 gubernatorial campaign).[10][12] Citing their unease with Dominion Energy’s planned construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, all three candidates in the Democratic primary pledged to refuse campaign contributions from Dominion Energy, despite the company being the largest contributor to Virginia political campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats. Although early polling showed Platt in the lead, Fairfax significantly outraised both of his opponents and proved victorious in the primary election, carrying about 49% of the vote.

Fairfax then faced Republican nominee Jill Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County in the general election. Fairfax and Vogel raised comparable amounts of money for their campaigns—$3.9 million and $3.7 million, respectively. A forum between Fairfax and Vogel was held at Piedmont Community College on August 9, 2017 and a debate between the two candidates was held at the University of Richmond on October 5.

Noting that Fairfax had been largely unknown when he ran for Attorney General four years earlier, the Washington Post wrote that Fairfax had transitioned from “party crasher” to “party insider” in the time since, having “methodically done the work necessary to raise his profile and pay dues.” The Washington Post went onto endorse Fairfax in the race, calling him “bright, competent, well-versed” and “the much better choice”.

Fairfax’s opposition to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines led to him being omitted from a small number of campaign flyers that were distributed by the campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam. These flyers were released at the request of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), which supports the pipeline – LIUNA had endorsed Northam (and Northam’s running mate for Attorney General, Mark Herring, who was included on the flyer), but not Fairfax. As Fairfax is black, while Northam and Herring are both white, some activists criticized the Northam campaign’s decision to accommodate LIUNA’s request. Fairfax responded to the controversy by saying, “This should not have happened, and it should not happen again, and there needs to be robust investment in making sure that we are communicating with African American voters and we are engaging our base.” The Fairfax campaign later remarked that the Democratic ticket was “working well together”, adding “One piece of literature does not change that.” All houses that received the LIUNA flyers also received standard campaign flyers including Fairfax.

In the final days of the campaign, former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder weighed in on the flyer controversy, saying that Fairfax had not “been dealt a good hand”. Wilder endorsed Fairfax, but never endorsed Northam. As the election drew to a close, Fairfax and Vogel aired attack ads against each other.

Fairfax won the election by 5.5%. He is only the second African-American in Virginia history to be elected to statewide office (the first being Douglas Wilder, who served as governor, as well as lieutenant governor).

The lieutenant governor’s position is part-time;[6] Fairfax initially planned to continue his law practice while in office,but announced in December 2017 that he will be leaving his firm. His law partner at Venable, Larry Roberts, served as his campaign chairman during the election and is currently serving as his chief of staff.

Recent Elections

2017 Lt. Governor

Justin Fairfax (D)1,368,41252.7%
Jill Holtzman Vogel (R)1,224,52047.2%
Write in (Write-in)2,606
TOTAL2,595,538

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

FAIRFAX, JUSTIN E has run in 2 races for public office, winning 1 of them. The candidate has raised a total of$4,821,774.

Source: Follow the Money

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

Issues

Source: Wikipedia

On economic issues, Fairfax supports policies such as a $15 minimum wage, action onstudent loan debt, and more job training and apprenticeships for skilled trades such as electrician, welder, and machine operator. Fairfax supports investment in transportation and infrastructure, and implementation of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. Fairfax favors promotion of renewable energy such as wind and solar.

Fairfax supports the Affordable Care Act and an expansion of Medicaid to low-income Virginians. He supports caps on campaign contributions.

On social issues, Fairfax supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage. He is supportive of gun control measures such as universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and an assault weapons ban. He supports criminal justice reform, and supports former Governor McAuliffe’s restoration of voting rights to felons who have completed probation and parole terms.  Fairfax favors additional action to combat theopioid crisis, and supports the decriminalization of the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for personal use.

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Mark HerringMark Herring

Current Position: Attorney General since 2014
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2007 – 2013

As Attorney General, Mark has assembled an elite team of prosecutors to crack down on heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and those who attempt to exploit our children online.

He is helping survivors of sexual assault pursue justice by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits to find and prosecute criminals.

He has made communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns and promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. And he has worked to improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve with innovative training and recruiting initiatives

Summary

Current Position: Attorney General since 2014
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Senator from 2007 – 2013

As Attorney General, Mark has assembled an elite team of prosecutors to crack down on heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and those who attempt to exploit our children online.

He is helping survivors of sexual assault pursue justice by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits to find and prosecute criminals.

He has made communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns and promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. And he has worked to improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve with innovative training and recruiting initiatives

About

Mark Herring 2

Source: Campaign page

Mark Herring was raised by a single mother in Loudoun County, Virginia. She instilled in him that when you see a problem in your community, you have an obligation to try and fix it. He worked construction and other jobs in order to help pay for college. And he’s never forgotten where he came from, which is why he works every single day to make our families and communities safer.

As Attorney General, Mark has assembled an elite team of prosecutors to crack down on heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and those who attempt to exploit our children online.

He is helping survivors of sexual assault pursue justice by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits to find and prosecute criminals.

He has made communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns and promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. And he has worked to improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve with innovative training and recruiting initiatives.

Since the day he was sworn in, Attorney General Herring has worked nonstop to defend the rights of Virginia taxpayers, seniors, veterans, and military families. He has won more than $100 million in debt relief and restitution for veterans and military families, and his best-in-the-nation Medicaid Fraud unit has saved taxpayers more than $60 million.

Just 12 days into his term, General Herring became the first attorney general to successfully argue that his state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples should be struck down, winning at the district court and appeals court before the United States Supreme Court let the decision stand, bringing marriage equality to the Commonwealth within 10 months of his taking office.

He has won huge victories in courts for clean air and water including the Chesapeake Bay, for affordable health care, and for the right of all Virginians to live and worship free from hate and discrimination.

Prior to being elected Attorney General, Mark served as a state Senator representing Loudoun and Fairfax counties. Mark worked on issues facing one of America’s fastest-growing counties and some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Mark also served on Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors, and was a small business owner, running a private practice in his hometown of Leesburg where he has practiced law for more than 20 years.

Mark received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and graduated with honors from the University of Richmond School of Law.

Mark and his wife, Laura, have been married for 27 years. They have two children, daughter Peyton, 24, and son Tim, 21.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Attorney
    Private Practice
  • Member
    Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

Education

  • JD
    University of Richmond School of Law
  • BA and MA
    University of Virginia

Contact

Email:

Offices

Richmond office
Attorney General’s Office
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 786-2071

Consumer Complaint Hotline
Phone: 1(800) 552-9963

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube

Twitter

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

He served in elected office on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2003, and was the Town Attorney for Lovettsville, Virginia, from 1992 to 1999. He is the principal with The Herring Law Firm, P.C., in Leesburg, Virginia.

Herring was elected to the Senate of Virginia in a special election triggered by two-term incumbent Republican Bill Mims’ appointment as chief deputy attorney general of Virginia. He was re-elected to a full term in the 2007 election, and reelected in 2011.

On July 24, 2012, he announced that he would run for the office of Attorney General of Virginia, in the 2013 elections. On April 2, 2013, The Democratic Party of Virginia(DPVA) certified that Herring’s name would appear on the June primary ballot. On June 11, 2013, Herring won the primary.

Fellow Democrat Jennifer Wexton won the election to succeed him in representing the 33rd Senatorial District.

Attorney General of Virginia

2013 Election

Herring faced Justin Fairfax in the Democratic primary in June 2013, winning narrowly by a margin of 52%-48%. He faced RepublicanMark Obenshain in the general election.

On the night of the election, Obenshain held a 1,200 vote lead over Herring. Vote totals fluctuated as ballots were canvassed in the following days, and the race remained too close to call. On November 12, 2013, with all ballots counted, Herring held a 165-vote lead, or less than 0.01%, and Obenshain requested a recount. Herring’s total increased during the recount, so Obenshain conceded the election on December 18, 2013, and later that day, the recount ended with Herring winning by 907 votes, or 0.04%.

Tenure

Herring was sworn into office on January 11, 2014.

Virginia Marriage Amendment

On January 23, 2014, Herring announced that he would not defend the Virginia Marriage Amendment in federal court, and filed a brief in a federal lawsuit being brought against the law asking for it to be struck down. Herring said in a press conference announcing the move, “I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I intend to ensure that Virginia is on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”

Reaction to the announcement was mainly along party lines, with Democrats mostly praising the move and Republicans mostly criticizing it as a violation of his oath of office. The National Organization for Marriage has called for Herring’s impeachment, claiming that the Virginia attorney general is obligated to defend all state laws against challenges. In the press conference, Herring said, “There are those who will say that the attorney general is required to defend every challenge to a state law, even a law that is unconstitutional. They could not be more wrong.”

The amendment would be ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court in Norfolk in the case Bostic v. Schaefer on February 13, 2014. On July 28, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2–1 opinion upholding the lower court’s decision. This was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which denied a writ of certiorari, letting the Fourth Circuit Court’s decision stand and legalizing same-sex marriage in Virginia.

2017 Election

Herring faced no opposition in the Democratic primary and won his party’s endorsement for re-election. He defeated Republican opponent John Donley Adams and won re-election. His former opponent and fellow lawyer Justin Fairfax won the race for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the same year.

Recent Elections

2017 Attorney General

Mark Herring (D)1,385,39053.3%
John Donley Adams (R)1,209,54046.6%
Write In (Write-in)2,6140.1%
TOTAL2,597,544

2019 Attorney General

Mark Herring (D)1,103,77749.9%
Mark Dudley Obenshain (R)1,103,61249.9%
Write In (Write-in)5,4620.2%
TOTAL2,212,851

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

HERRING, MARK RANKIN has run in 5 races for public office, winning 4 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $18,714,153.

Source: Follow the Money

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

Issues

Mark Herring became the 48th Attorney General of Virginia on January 11, 2014. He is working to keep Virginia families safe in their communities and neighborhoods, promote justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians, and provide legal services to the people of Virginia and their government.

As Attorney General, Mark has built a record of:

  • Combating the heroin and opioid epidemic with a comprehensive strategy that includes: 
    • Enforcement—Attorney General Herring has assembled a team of prosecutors to take down dealers, traffickers, and those who profit off addiction. His team has worked more than 85 cases against dealers and traffickers involving more than 434 pounds of heroin, which is approximately 1.97 million doses worth about $29.5 million on the street.
    • Education, Prevention, and Treatment—Attorney General Herring launched an innovative education and prevention campaign to prevent heroin and prescription drug abuse, because he knows we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. He has created an award winning documentary, “Heroin: The Hardest Hit,” and a companion website, www.HardestHitVA.com, to serve as a one-stop-shop for education, prevention, and treatment resources in Virginia.
    • Legislation—Attorney General Herring has led bipartisan efforts in the General Assembly to expand the availability of naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal drug, to law enforcement agencies, families confronting addiction, and community prevention organizations. He helped pass Virginia’s first “Good Samaritan” safe reporting law to encourage people to call 911 during an overdose.
  • Fighting for Virginia taxpayers, seniors, and veterans and military families. Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection section has won more than $100 million in debt relief for veterans and military families who were targeted by shady businesses. He has recovered millions from banks and mortgage companies who he believes took advantage of Virginians. His Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has recovered more than $69 million for Virginia taxpayers and was named best in the nation. He has secured the largest multistate consumer settlement ever lead by Virginia and the largest ever non-healthcare settlement for claims under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
  • Transforming the way Virginia works to prevent and respond to sexual and domestic violence by leading a $3.4 million project to completely eliminate the Commonwealth’s backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits. He chaired Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, and has helped dozens of communities implement Lethality Assessment Protocols to protect survivors of domestic violence and prevent domestic homicides.
  • Preparing the Commonwealth for emerging safety threats by providing new resources and technology to fight child exploitation, human trafficking, and gang violence, and a range cyber-crimes that target Virginia children, consumers, and businesses.
  • Fighting for the fundamental rights of all Virginians, including the economic and reproductive rights of Virginia women, and the rights of LGBT Virginians to marry the person they love and be free from discrimination. He won the nation’s first preliminary injunction striking down President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban, and sought new tools and provided new resources to prevent hate crimes and ensure all Virginians can live, learn, work, and worship free from discrimination and intimidation.
  • Promoting a strong business environment by ensuring the laws of the Commonwealth are applied evenly and fairly so Virginia businesses can make the investments needed to succeed in the long term. He helped craft legislation to crack down on ‘patent trolls’ who tie up the courts and Virginia businesses with baseless lawsuits, and legislation to help Virginia and Virginia businesses succeed in the emerging sharing economy.
  • Protecting Virginia’s natural resources by fighting in court for clean air, clean water, renewable energy, and the Chesapeake Bay. He secured Virginia’s largest ever environmental damages settlement and has numerous enforcement actions for violations of the Clean Water Act.
  • Modernizing and reforming the Office of Attorney General to give taxpayers the best value for their dollar, promote transparency and accountability, and update the use of technology. On his first day in office, he instituted a strict gift ban on himself, his family, and his employees.

Mark has lived most of his life in Loudoun County. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia, he graduated with honors from the University of Richmond School of Law before returning to Loudoun and establishing a successful law practice in Leesburg.

Mark got his start in public service as the town attorney for Lovettsville, and then was elected as a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Prior to serving as Attorney General, he served eight years in the Senate of Virginia, representing parts of Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, working to bring technology-based economic development to the Northern Virginia region, secure transportation funding for needed projects, and make both state and local governments more accountable to the citizens of Virginia.

He and his wife, Laura, have been married for more than 25 years. They have raised their two children in college, daughter Peyton and son Tim, in Loudoun County, where they are members of the Leesburg Presbyterian Church.

Civil Rights

DEFENDING WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Attorney General Mark R. Herring has been an unwavering advocate for Virginia women on issues of economic fairness, reproductive justice, and more. Along with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, he has been a brick wall against Republican attacks on a woman’s reproductive freedom, and has fought in court to defend a woman’s access to comprehensive healthcare services including abortion and birth control. In his own office, he has taken unprecedented steps to elevate women in leadership positions, build an inclusive workforce, and promote pay equity.

Attorney General Herring reversed dangerous and incorrect legal advice from his predecessor that had closed at least one women’s health clinic and threatened the closure of more through medically unnecessary and intentionally burdensome regulations. Because of his correct legal advice in what the Washington Post called “a watertight official legal opinion,” the Virginia Board of Health protected women’s health clinics from expensive and medically unnecessary retrofits that would have closed many Virginia clinics that offer abortion services.

Attorney General Herring helped defeat a 20-week abortion ban in the legislature with an official opinion that declared such a law would likely be struck down as unconstitutional, and as a state senator, he opposed legislation to restrict a woman’s access to abortion, including personhood bills and Virginia’s infamous “mandatory transvaginal ultrasound” bill.

Unlike his opponent, who has fought twice at the Supreme Court to give employers the right to influence their employees personal, private medical decisions by denying basic, preventive reproductive health coverage to their employees including in the infamousHobby Lobby case, Attorney General Herring fought alongside his colleagues to protect a woman’s access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including contraception, without interference from her boss. He also led a multi state coalition defending access to healthcare on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

Attorney General Herring successfully fought alongside his colleagues in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to strike down Texas’s onerous, medically unnecessary targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP).

FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL VIRGINIANS

Promoting Diversity
Attorney General Mark R. Herring believes our Commonwealth’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths. He has had a front row seat as his home county of Loudoun has transformed itself and become more economically dynamic as it became more diverse and welcoming. He understands that immigration has been a source of economic and cultural benefit for Virginia for more than 400 years and is working each and every day to make sure that new Virginians are welcome here.

Attorney General Herring has been an outspoken advocate for minority communities, launching www.NoHateVA.com as a resource and seeking additional tools to protect those who are vulnerable from hate crimes and to hold perpetrators accountable.

Attorney General Herring has been a national leader in fighting President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban, successfully arguing that the ban was unconstitutional and based on religious bigotry and winning the nation’s first preliminary injunction against the ban.

In 2014, Attorney General Herring determined that Virginia DREAMers who were protected by DACA could qualify for in-state tuition and pursue an affordable education in their home state. Since then, hundreds of Virginia students have been able to pursue an affordable education in their home state.

Attorney General Herring is working to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, especially in communities of color, by providing additional training on 21st century policing skills like implicit bias, helping departments recruit more diverse officers, and encouraging positive interactions between officers and young people.

And he has worked to build a world class team of lawyers that reflects the diversity of the people they serve, including appointing the first African-American woman to serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General of Virginia.

Fighting For Equality
Just 12 days into his term, Attorney General Mark R. Herring took the historic step of joining the fight for marriage equality, winning at the district court and appeals court before the United States Supreme Court let the decision stand, bringing marriage equality to the Commonwealth within 10 months of his taking office. Attorney General Herring is the first state attorney general to successfully argue that his state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Attorney General Herring wrote an official advisory opinion that said Virginia public schools can protect LGBT students, teachers, and employees from bullying, discrimination, and harassment. He also ended a policy of the previous administration that barred Virginia colleges and universities from establishing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies.

Attorney General Herring proposed and fought for an updated definition of “hate crime” to include LGBT Virginians, and for additional tools to prosecute suspected hate crimes. He signed an amicus brief in support of transgender students being able to receive an education in a comfortable environment. And he worked with Governor Terry McAuliffe to craft an Executive Order barring state contracts to companies who do not have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies, mirroring President Obama’s federal executive order.

Environment

PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

Attorney General Mark R. Herring has fought for clean air and water, open spaces, clean energy, and to hold polluters accountable. He has been a consistent voice for progress in developing clean energy and addressing climate change because of Virginia’s unique vulnerability to climate change and sea level rise.

In 2016, Attorney General Herring secured the largest environmental damages settlement in Virginia history. He has also brought successful enforcement actions against polluters who damage Virginia waterways.

He has made Virginia the first Chesapeake Bay state to successfully defend the Bay cleanup plan in court against a legal attack by out-of-state special interests and attorneys general from states as far away as Alaska.

As part of the “Green 20,” Attorney General Herring is working with a group of his fellow attorneys general who have committed to address climate change, protect progress made in recent years, and promote cleaner energy. Attorney General Herring is defending President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court because it is an ambitious, achievable, and lawful roadmap for enjoying the health, environmental, and economic benefits of cleaner air. He has continued to oppose the Trump Administration’s attempts to withdraw the Clean Power Plan and kill pending litigation regarding its lawfulness.

In official opinions, Attorney General Herring has clarified and confirmed the ability of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and the authority of local governments to regulate “fracking.” Working with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Herring has helped grow solar, wind, and renewable energy sectors in Virginia, including new solar projects that will power state government facilities.

Attorney General Herring fought in court to defend Virginia’s conservation easement tax credit program, and spoke out strongly in opposition to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and Chesapeake Bay Program.

Health Care

COMBATING THE HEROIN AND OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Attorney General Herring has been recognized as one of Virginia’s foremost authorities in responding to the heroin and opioid crisis that is touching so many families in Virginia and around the country. Because he understands that we can’t just arrest our way out of this problem, he has relentlessly pursued a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes education, prevention, and treatment alongside enforcement against dealers and traffickers who profit off addiction.

Attorney General Herring launched an unprecedented five-point plan to address the crisis which includes legislation, education, prevention, enforcement, and collaboration. He was recognized with the “Bronze Key Award” from the McShin Foundation for his commitment and effectiveness in addressing substance abuse.

Attorney General Herring and his team have been relentless in cracking down on the dealers and traffickers who profit off addiction and threaten Virginians’ lives. He and his team have prosecuted more than 75 cases against heroin dealers and traffickers involving more than 375 pounds of heroin and fentanyl, which is about 1.69 million doses worth about $17 million on the streets.

Because education and prevention are key to solving the problem, Attorney General Herring created “Heroin: The Hardest Hit,” an award-winning documentary and a companion website www.HardestHitVA.com which serves as a one-stop shop for education and prevention materials. The film is now mandatory viewing in health education classes around the state, and the office is even educating middle schoolers on the dangers of heroin and prescription drug abuse.

The General Assembly passed two lifesaving pieces of legislation brought forward by Attorney General Herring, one to make Naloxone, a lifesaving overdose reversal drug, available without a prescription and available to all law enforcement officers and first responders, and one to create the state’s first “Good Samaritan” safe reporting law to encourage people in the presence of an overdose to call 911. Those two measures have saved thousands of lives since their enactment. This year, he helped expand Naloxone access to community organizations and nonprofits.

Attorney General Herring secured the donation of more than 80,000 drug disposal kits to get unused prescriptions out of medicine cabinets before they can be abused. He has partnered with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District to create the Hampton Roads Heroin Work Group, and he and his team are active members of multiple heroin task forces around the state.

Safety

Building Safer, Stronger Communities

Attorney General Mark R. Herring is working every day to promote safe, successful communities in every corner of the Commonwealth. He has forged strong relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and has made additional public safety and law enforcement tools and resources available to Virginia communities.

Attorney General Herring has been recognized as one of Virginia’s foremost authorities in responding to the heroin and opioid crisis that is touching so many families in Virginia and around the country. He has relentlessly pursued a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes education, prevention, and treatment alongside enforcement, cracking down on dealers and traffickers who profit off addiction and threaten Virginians’ lives. He and his team have prosecuted more than 75 cases against heroin dealers and traffickers involving more than 375 pounds of heroin and fentanyl, which is about 1.69 million doses worth about $17 million on the streets.

Attorney General Herring is leading a transformation in the way Virginia works to prevent and respond to sexual and domestic violence. He is leading a $3.4 million project to completely eliminate Virginia’s backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits. He chaired Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, which helped make Virginia a national leader on the issue. He has helped implement Lethality Assessment Protocol, an innovative tool to prevent domestic violence and homicide, in dozens of communities around the Commonwealth.

Even in the NRA’s home state, Attorney General Herring has stood up to the gun lobby and a legislature that is beholden to it. He has built a record of achievement in reducing gun violence, prosecuting more than 100 cases involving illegal guns and gun violence, and has taken strong stands for commonsense gun safety measures like a reinstatement of Virginia’s “one handgun per month” law and universal background checks.

Attorney General Mark R. Herring has brought together law enforcement, community leaders, the faith community, and others to find common ground, identify solutions, and ensure the safety of our communities and the equal and fair treatment of all our citizens. He and his team helped hundreds of officers receive training in 21st century policing skills like implicit bias control, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training.

KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE

Attorney General Mark R. Herring recognizes that nothing is more important than the safety of our children. That’s why he has made Virginia a national leader in the use of innovative technology to protect children and catch perpetrators, and led a bipartisan effort to expand the reach of Virginia’s efforts. He and his team have helped put hundreds of child predators behind bars through aggressive prosecutions and digital forensics work.

Attorney General Herring and his team have worked more than 250 cases against child predators, secured jail sentences of more than 500 years, and examined more than 2,000 computers, phones, and other devices in 400 different cases. He made the services of the office more readily available and accessible to state and local law enforcement agencies and invested in a mobile computer forensics lab so technicians can analyze child pornography at the scene of the crime.

Attorney General Herring’s Office has invested in cutting edge technology that makes it easier for investigators to identify child victims and rescue them from dangerous situations. Virginia is one of only about 5 states to utilize this powerful technology, which has led to additional arrests, more than 4,000 pieces of evidence, more than 1,000 tips, and more than 200 active investigations.

Attorney General Herring has partnered with South Dakota Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley to launch the bipartisan Campaign for Child Rescue, a joint effort by child welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies, and the high-tech sector to promote new technology to make investigations easier, to build stronger cases, and to identify and rescue children from dangerous situations.

Attorney General Herring and his team have been integral to high-profile child pornography and child exploitation prosecutions including a cross-country child sex ring, a former youth hockey coach in Northern Virginia, and a former school teacher in the Richmond area.

REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE

Attorney General Herring has stood up to the gun lobby and a legislature that is beholden to it. He has built a record of combatting gun violence and has taken strong stands in favor of commonsense gun safety measures.

Attorney General Herring has assembled a team of prosecutors to crack down on felons with firearms and gun runners. He and his team prosecuted more than 100 gun crimes, including violent crimes, in both state and federal court.

Attorney General Herring has formed strong working relationships with law enforcement partners, especially in Washington, DC and Maryland, as well as building relationships with local, state, federal, and interstate law enforcement partners.

To address domestic homicide using a gun, Attorney General Herring has built a comprehensive program for training law enforcement and members of Virginia communities in the use of Lethality Assessment Protocol to save lives.

To crack down on gun running out of Virginia, he has fought for the reinstatement of Virginia’s “one handgun a month” law and mandatory background checks on all gun sales including those at gun shows.

Attorney General Herring has worked with the Virginia faith community to demand gun manufacturers implement gun safety technology and joined with the Attorneys General of Washington D.C. and Maryland to write a letter to those manufacturers requesting information on their safety measures.

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