Mark Herring

Mark Herring
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Credit: NPR

Summary

Current Position: Attorney
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Attorney General from 2014 – 2021; 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

News

‘Our work is not done’: A Q&A with Attorney General Mark Herring
Virginia Mercury, Jackie Llanos HernandezOctober 28, 2021

With just a few days until this year’s election, polls have indicated a tightening race between Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, and Republican candidate Jason Miyares, a state delegate. This is the first in a two-part Q&A series with Herring and Miyares.

For Herring, a third term would be focused on defending progressive legislation from legal challenges and protecting Virginians who are marginalized, he says. If elected, Herring would be the first attorney general since 1945 to serve a third consecutive term. He talked to the Mercury about what he hopes to achieve, Virginia’s political landscape and more. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

VM: What do you think is the proper role of the attorney general?

Herring: I believe the attorney general is the people’s lawyer. My team and I, every single day, look for ways that we can use the law as a tool to help our fellow Virginians, especially those who are vulnerable, those who are discriminated against. People who truly need the arm and shield of the law. That’s why I’m running for re-election, because we have made so much progress over the last eight years with that vision that I brought. We need to continue to keep that progress and continue fighting for all Virginians.

How do you think Virginia’s political landscape has changed since you were first elected as attorney general in 2014?

I think Virginians are really pleased with the direction that my team and I have led. We have taken a bold stance in order to stand up and protect Virginians and their rights. One of the first things I did when I came into office eight years ago, was to go into court and say, ‘No, we’re not going to defend an unconstitutional ban on marriage for same sex couples. We’re gonna fight for marriage equality.’

We won a landmark case that is now the law of the land. We continue to protect Virginia’s Dreamers, making sure that all Virginians, new Virginians, whatever their background, that they truly are a full part of the commonwealth and the communities they live in. We continue to stand up and protect people’s health care from being taken away from them. Republican attorneys general time and again have tried to go to court to overturn the Affordable Care Act… All of these things have meant so much to so many people. I’ve heard from those who have been positively impacted by the way we lead on marriage equality, and it has made their lives so much better.

I will never forget stories… in Hampton Roads for example, women that I met with who were crying, fearing that their health care would be taken away from them. They were breast cancer survivors and they were afraid that they would lose their health care because it was a pre-existing condition. Issue after issue: protecting a woman’s right to choose, fighting for racial equity. In so many ways, we have really made Virginia a place that is open and welcoming to everyone. That’s obviously been good for Virginians, but it’s also been good for our economy. We’ve been named the best state in America back to back, and in large part that’s attributable to the work that my team and I have done to make Virginia a very inclusive and welcoming place.

A federal judge is urging Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to issue a formal opinion on the state’s election calendar after U.S. census delays forced members of the General Assembly to run in outdated districts this year.

Herring has steadfastly declined to weigh in despite receiving a formal request for an opinion five months ago from Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas. The issue, which has been the subject of open speculation among lawmakers for more than a year, is now at the center of a lawsuit that aims to force a new round of House of Delegates elections next year once redrawn districts are finalized.

“Maybe the attorney general wants to opine — he may want to,” said U.S. District Judge David Novak during a hearing Tuesday, suggesting that some clear legal direction from Herring might resolve the need for the lawsuit. “I want him to do his job, but I’m not ordering it.”

The two lawyers from Herring’s office in the hearing, who were representing Gov. Ralph Northam and the Board of Elections in the lawsuit, bristled at Novak’s request, repeatedly calling it “neither here nor there.”

They also defended Herring’s right not to respond in a filing ahead of the hearing, writing that the office “has a longstanding practice of exercising discretion to decline, when appropriate, to respond to requests for official advisory opinions, including requests from legislators.”

Herring pledges to defend abortion rights
WDBJ, Joe DashiellSeptember 22, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) – Virginia Democrats continue to make abortion rights a central issue of their statewide campaigns.

Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Mark Herring held a virtual news conference with Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings and Virginia State Sen. Jennifer Boysko.

“We have a front row seat to see what happens, when extreme right-wing Republicans are elected to statewide office: Texas, what’s happening there,” Herring told reporters. “The right to choose across the nation has been jeopardized and we have to protect that right here in the Commonwealth.”

“Virginia, your health care is on the ballot. Your right to choose is on the ballot. Your right to access a safe legal abortion is on the ballot,” Jennings said.

Attorney General Mark Herring Endorsed by the Washington Post for Re-Election
herringforag.com, Press ReleaseSeptember 16, 2021

LEESBURG, Va. – Today, the Washington Post endorsed Attorney General Mark Herring, calling him a “level-headed progressive” who has “been bold in pushing to scrap GOP-devised rules designed to force the closure of abortion clinics, and in backing affordable access to higher education at state-supported colleges for undocumented students who have grown up in the commonwealth”.

The endorsement comes after Attorney General Herring’s push to fight back against Texas’ draconian abortion laws, and after the Attorney General and the democratic ticket vowed to protect abortion rights from any attacks during a joint press conference to educate voters about what is at stake in Virginia if any their anti-abortion republican opponents are elected.

Read more of the Editorial Board’s endorsement below:

Twitter

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

Campaign Address
P.O. Box 25372
Alexandria, VA 22313

Web

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

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.

Economy

PROMOTING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Attorney General Mark R. Herring is a pro-business, pro-opportunity attorney general, working every day to make sure Virginia remains the best state in America to live, work, learn, and raise a family, or to start and grow a business. His background in the private sector, as both a small business owner and an attorney serving Northern Virginia’s business and professional communities, gives him a unique perspective on how to help Virginia businesses thrive.

Attorney General Herring has also fought hard against scams and businesses that take advantage of the Commonwealth and its hard-working taxpayers. Since taking office, Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered over $403 million in consumer relief and payments from violators.

Attorney General Herring created Virginia’s first Worker Protection Unit, a multidisciplinary team of prosecutors and attorneys within the Office of Attorney General, which will be led by a dedicated criminal prosecutor, that will focus on investigating, stopping, and prosecuting individuals and businesses who unlawfully engage in worker exploitation, in addition to educating Virginia workers on their rights.

In an increasingly global economy, Attorney General Herring is working to create a Commonwealth where businesses, entrepreneurs, and talented workers from around the world feel welcome to start, grow, or work at a Virginia business. He has championed common-sense immigration reforms, given the children of immigrants who have only called Virginia home an opportunity to pursue an affordable college education in Virginia, and sought new tools and resources to combat hate crimes.

Attorney General Herring and his team have worked on legislation to help Virginia prepare for the growing “sharing economy,” and to combat “patent trolls” that force Virginia businesses into expensive litigation over bad-faith claims of patent infringement.

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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