Ron Cogswell via Wikimedia Commons

Republican Jason Miyares finds himself in a dead heat in the race to be Virginia’s next attorney general.

Running to be the state’s first Latino attorney general is “humbling.” The challenges his immigrant mother faced stick with him today.

As an assistant commonwealth’s attorney, Miyares can speak at length about the need to address crime proactively.

In an interview with Virginia Mercury, Miyares did just that—outlining his solutions for the Old Dominion.

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

Miyares: One of the key roles of the attorney general, you’re the intersection of the civil and criminal and you are there to protect Virginians but also you’re known as Virginia’s top prosecutor. Public safety is a huge mission of the Attorney General’s Office. I think a big key difference between myself and my opponent is that he’s been trained as a politician, and I’ve been trained as a prosecutor. When the murder rate in Virginia is at over a two decade high, people are concerned, so I want to go after human traffickers. I want to go after violent felons. I want to investigate school boards that aren’t reporting sexual assaults in schools as they’re doing in Loudoun. And so I think, right now, it’s clear to me that the right leaders focus on the right priorities and top priority for me is going to be safety and security for Virginians.

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You’ve focused on crime and public safety in your campaign. What can the attorney general’s office do to cut crime rates?

First of all, we need to investigate the Parole Board. The Parole Board has let out cop killers, murderers, and rapists, sometimes [with] decades on their sentence, and they’ve committed more crime. If somebody like David Simpkins who had 56 prior felony convictions, and he was supposed to be in prison in the year 2066. They let him out 46 years early, and he commits his 57th felony. He committed an armed robbery. You have someone like Patrick Schooley Jr.. He was given a life sentence for the home invasion and murder of a grandmother. He was put back on the street, and the victim’s family found out about it when they heard about it on the nightly news. That was in violation of the law. … If I find out any state agency, whether it’s a parole board or any state agency, that is violating state law, I’m going to inform the governor of the violation of state law. If I have to take him to court to force him to follow the state law, I will. Mark Herring won’t do that. But the second thing is you need to make sure you’re not afraid to investigate where people are pushing policies and conducting themselves in a way that makes our kids less safe. You see this in Loudoun County just this week, the students had a walkout in Loudoun County Public Schools over the lack of safety in the public schools. … You had a perpetrator that walked into a bathroom and assaulted a young ninth-grade female victim, and he was simply transferred to another school where he assaulted, allegedly, another victim.

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What do you think of Miyares’ stances? And how excited are you to vote in today’s elections? As always, share your thoughts below!