Attorney General Mark Herring and his Republican challenger Del. Jason Miyares squared off for the first debate of the general election season.

They both highlighted their drastic difference on many issues — Patrick Wilson from the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a breakdown of where each candidate stood on issues during the debate.

After the debate, Miyares released the following statement: “There’s little doubt that Jason Miyares won today’s first Attorney General debate. Mark Herring failed miserably to defend his own record as Attorney General. Jason Miyares proved to Virginians that his vision for the Attorney General’s office will make Virginia safer. Taking on two term liberal Mark Herring in a debate, Jason stressed the need for the Attorney General to be Virginia’s Top Cop and focus the office on public safety. Pointing out Herring’s failed leadership time and time again, Jason reminded voters of Herring’s role in the Virginia Parole Board coverup where the Northam/Herring administration turned a blind eye to the constant violations of law in releasing violent offenders back into our streets. Jason offered the voters a real choice this November—the voters can accept Herring’s criminal first/victim last mentality, or the voters can chart a new course where violent offenders remain behind bars where they belong.”

Herring’s campaign released the following statement after the debate: “Jason Miyares’ extreme conservative agenda and record were on full display today and he didn’t even attempt to defend them. Miyares is anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ rights, anti-healthcare, and pro-NRA, and his stances’ and rhetoric are a threat to Virginians’ rights and safety from gun violence.” said Farah Melendez, campaign manager for Mark Herring for AG. “Mark Herring is the only person in this race with a proven record that Virginians can trust––not an extreme conservative that will roll back the progress made and fall in line with Trump and his allies. Jason Miyares is wrong for Virginia.”

The event was hosted by the Virginia Bar Association and not open to the public for watching. The media was allowed to attend but there is not an archived video to link to. Blue Virginia has video of the debate that was hosted by the Bar Association, however.

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