Sen. Mark Herring Eyes Attorney General’s Post

Sen. Mark Herring, a Leesburg Democrat who has championed construction of Metrorail into Loudoun County, is “very seriously considering” running for attorney general in the November 2013 election, according to the Loudoun Times.  The job is now held by Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who has made no secret of his intention to run for governor next year.

Herring told the Times he was focused on preparing for the upcoming special session of the General Assembly, where he hopes to win additional funding for the Dulles Metrorail Project. Herring has been a strong supporter of the project, which has run into opposition from newly-elected members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.  The Fairfax County board today reaffirmed its commitment to contribute up to $498 million to help fund completion of the Silver Line from Reston’s Wiehle Avenue to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.

Besides the Loudoun board’s wavering, the additional state funding sought by Herring and others now appears in jeopardy despite the efforts of Herring and Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax & Arlington), who won passage in the Senate of legislation providing $300 million in additional state funding. But the McDonnell administration has bottled up the additional funds, intended to ease the financial strain on Dulles Toll Road users, saying the money is not in the budget.

McDonnell also objects to provisions that would favor union contractors to complete the project and to the delay in seating Virginia’s new directors on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board.

“Since taking office, I have fought to bring high-paying, technology-based jobs to our area, secure needed transportation funding to the Northern Virginia region, improve our children’s education, and make state and local government more accountable to the people,” Herring says on his website.

The attorney general’s office has been in Northern Virginians’ hands in recent years. Cuccinelli represented part of Fairfax County in the Senate before defeating Del. Steve Shannon (D-Fairfax) in the November 2009 general election. Cuccinelli grabbed 58% of the vote (1,123,816 votes) to Shannon’s 42% (828,221 votes) in a Republican sweep that saw Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling win the governor and lieutenant governor’s posts.

Herring, a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in 1999 and to the Senate in 2006.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.