by Brandon Jarvis

A new group spearheaded by former Gov. Ralph Northam and a long list of Virginia Democrats is pushing former Del. Jay Jones to run for attorney general again next year.

The group called “Virginians for Jay Jones” is co-chaired by Northam, former First Lady Pam Northam, Sen.-elect Laschrese Aird, Sen.-elect Schuyler Van Valkenburg, Del. Alex Askew, Del. Jeff Bourne and Del. Paul Krizek.

“I’ve said it before, I will say it again today, Jay Jones is the right Democrat to serve as Virginia’s next Attorney General,” Northam said Thursday in a released statement“He is smart, he is a listener, he cares about the future of the commonwealth, and he will be an Attorney General who is focused on justice for everyone in the commonwealth. I am honored to lead this committee in supporting and encouraging Jay Jones to be our next Attorney General.”

Jones sought the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2021 but lost to two-term incumbent Mark Herring by 13 points. Northam endorsed Jones during that race also.

Jones soon after resigned from the House of Delegates to focus on his family and the arrival of his newborn son. But in his statement with his resignation, he made it clear that he planned to return to politics.

“Let me be clear, our work is not done and I intend to serve the people of Virginia for years to come. And that work may well mean a run for Attorney General in 2025,” he wrote in December 2021.

In the time since he resigned, Jones has been traveling the commonwealth helping train and financially support Democratic candidates through his “Meet Our Moment” program. He also worked in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, where he was a member of the Office of Consumer Protection.

Now, without formally announcing his plans to run, Jones already has the backing of powerful Democrats across the commonwealth.

“When the General Assembly needed a new generation of leaders, Jay created Meet Our Moment to personally train and invest in minority candidates,” Aird said in a statement. “And now, as Virginia needs someone with an unwavering commitment to justice and equality, Jay is the ideal candidate for Attorney General. Jay understands the challenges we face as a Commonwealth and has the courage and wisdom to tackle them head-on.”

A potential challenger to Jones for the Democratic nomination is Henrico County Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor. However VanValkenburg, the new state Senator from Henrico, is backing Jones.

“With Jay Jones as Attorney General, Virginia will have a champion for the people, someone who understands that the law can be a force for justice,” VanValkenburg said. “We need his leadership to address issues from public safety to consumer protection and civil rights. I urge Jay to run for Attorney General, and if he runs I’ll work every day to see him elected.”

Del. Jeff Bourne, who spent three years working for Herring in the attorney general’s office before becoming a delegate, is also backing Jones.

“Having spent three years in leadership at the Office of the Attorney General, I have seen first hand the qualities, skills and abilities that are necessary to be an effective [attorney general],” Bourne said. “ I can think of no better person for the job than Jay Jones.”

Jones did not personally comment Thursday, but his senior advisor spoke to the support being thrown behind him for attorney general. 

“Jay is honored to receive the support of so many Virginia leaders to serve as your next Attorney General,” said Lesley Shinbaum, a senior adviser to Jones. “He will remain focused on the important election we have in front of us in 2024: re-electing President Joe Biden and Senator Tim Kaine.”

The full list of elected officials endorsing this movement for Jones to run for attorney general is below:

  • Senator Lamont Bagby, Chairman, Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (Henrico)
  • Senator Mamie Locke, Chair, Senate Democratic Caucus (Hampton)
  • Senator Jeremy McPike (Prince William)
  • Senator-elect Stella Pekarsky (Fairfax)
  • Senator-elect Suhas Subramanyam (Loudoun)
  • Senator-elect Schuyler VanValkenburg (Henrico)
  • Senator-elect Angelia Williams Graves (Norfolk)
  • Delegate Alex Askew (Virginia Beach)
  • Delegate-elect Bonita Anthony (Norfolk)
  • Delegate-elect Destiny LeVere Bolling (Henrico)
  • Delegate Jeff Bourne (Richmond)
  • Delegate Nadarius Clark (Suffolk)
  • Delegate-elect Joshua Cole (Stafford)
  • Delegate-elect Rae Cousins (Richmond)
  • Delegate-elect Michael Feggans (Virginia Beach)
  • Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler (Virginia Beach)
  • Delegate Cliff Hayes (Chesapeake)
  • Delegate-elect Phil Hernandez (Norfolk)
  • Delegate-elect Michael Jones (Richmond)
  • Delegate Candi Mundon King (Prince William)
  • Delegate Kathleen Murphy (Fairfax)
  • Delegate Paul Krizek (Fairfax)
  • Delegate Marcia Price (Newport News)
  • Delegate David Reid (Loudoun)
  • Delegate-elect Holly Seibold (Fairfax)
  • Delegate Marcus Simon (Fairfax)
  • Delegate Shelly Simonds (Newport News)
  • Delegate-elect Josh Thomas (Prince William)

Virginia Scope is an independent news publication that is funded largely by donations and subscribers. As local newsrooms are losing writers each day, we are trying to fill the void to ensure that the public is informed and that leaders are held accountable for their actions. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to our newsletter or making a donation through Paypal below so we can continue to work in Virginia. 

By vascope