After Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) announced last week that he would run for governor in the 2021 election, a top Republican lawmaker in the House of Delegates as called for the chief lawyer of the Commonwealth to resign from his office. House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) said Tuesday that Herring promised voters “just five short years ago that he would not be a part-time Attorney General and would resign should he decide to seek higher office.”
Gilbert said the attorney general must “immediately make good on his pledge.”
“Mark Herring promised to get politics out of the office of the Attorney General, including a pledge to resign should he decide to run for Governor,” Gilbert said in press release from House Republican leadership. “From day one, Mark Herring has used his office to put ideological political considerations above the law. Now we will see if Mr. Herring intends to make good on even a small measure of his campaign promises. If he is a man of his word, Mark Herring’s resignation will be on Governor Northam’s desk by the end of the year.”
The issue at hand emanates from a 2013 article from The Virginian-Pilot wherein Herring said that he would not run for governor as attorney general and instead would resign, criticizing then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) for a similar move.
The article read:
“In line with his pledge to take politics out of the office, Herring has said he would resign as attorney general if he decided to run for governor. Cuccinelli has weathered criticism for staying in office as he campaigns for governor, bucking a pattern set by several of his predecessors.”
Referring to the Republican AG and gubernatorial candidate, Herring added in a interview, “Time and time again, we have seen way too much politics in the attorney general’s office.”
It seems then, however, that Herring has fallen into his own trap.
“If Mark Herring doesn’t resign right away, his next round of campaign promises will ring hollow yet again,” Majority Leader Gilbert said.