by Brandon Jarvis

Delegate Jay Jones (Norfolk) announced on Tuesday that he raised $1 million last year in his campaign for Attorney General of Virginia. Jones is currently competing with two-term incumbent Mark Herring for the Democratic nomination. Herring was originally running for Governor but dropped his name from consideration in September of 2020. He then officially announced his candidacy for reelection to the Office of the Attorney General in December.

The total reported by Jones’s campaign is the highest ever raised by a non-incumbent Democratic Attorney General candidate in the year prior to the election. For comparison, in 2012, the year prior to Herring winning his first race for Attorney General, he raised $256,000 and finished the year with just over $200,000 cash on hand. Jones reported having $723,000 cash on hand at the end of 2020.

“I’m humbled by the support that we’ve received from across the Commonwealth since launching our campaign for Attorney General,” said Delegate Jay Jones. “We have momentum in this race because our campaign is uniting Virginians in this new decade and will continue to raise the resources needed to win in June and November.”

Herring has yet to announce his latest fundraising totals, but he reported less than $10,000 cash on hand in his Attorney General campaign account on the mid-2020 filing. He also reported close to $20,000 raised for his abandoned gubernatorial run at the time while Jones raised $100,000 prior to the June 30 deadline.

The One Commonwealth PAC that is associated with Herring ended the third quarter of 2020 with over $750,000 cash on hand, however.

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Jones says he wants to bring a new generation of leadership to the office and Herring says he wants to continue the work he has been doing these last eight years.

In his campaign announcement last July, Jones said he is running “not just because it is time for a new generation of leadership, but because it is time for a Commonwealth that embraces everyone and lifts everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like.”

Conversely, in his announcement in December, Herring said that he has done a lot to “promote justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians, to expand and secure the civil rights of our fellow Virginians.” He also stated that he does not want to leave the job until he gets the chance to do more. “The progress we’ve made has been historic, but the work isn’t done. And I’m not the kind of person to walk away unless the job is finished.”

The Democratic nominee will be chosen by a primary election that is scheduled to take place on June 8. The Republicans currently have two candidates in the race, Delegate Jason Miyares (Virginia Beach) and Chuck Smith. Republicans have indicated that they will be nominating candidates with a convention – however, that has yet to be finalized. A meeting later this week of the GOP State Central Committee will provide more insight into that process.

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By vascope