Virginia State Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) announced Wednesday that he is running for the GOP nomination of attorney general in 2021.
Miyares, who has represented the 82nd District of the House of Delegates since 2016, made the announcement through a video posted to his Facebook profile.
Miyares said he decided to run for attorney general after discussing the prospect with family and friends, and because state political leaders are not working to keep Virginians safe.
“I think the number one job in the state for attorney general is to make sure we’re building a safe and secure Virginia,” Miyares said in an interview with The Virginia Star. “And I think it’s clear that right now we have a General Assembly and politicians in Richmond that have next to no concern about keeping us safe.”
“So, when you look at the fact that politicians simply are not doing their job, which is to make sure we have safe and secure communities, I realized that [the people] needed someone to stand up and be a voice for the victims, our communities and public safety,” Miyares added.
Having taken part in the General Assembly special session, Miyares criticized some legislation backed by Democrats such as a bill that changed the earned sentence credits system in prisons allowing some violent offenders to be released early and the push to end qualified immunity for law enforcement – even though the bill was eventually killed.
He also criticized current Attorney General Mark Herring for letting legislation that hurts law enforcement pass through the Assembly.
A former Virginia Beach prosecutor, Miyares said one of his top priorities is to support the Commonwealth’s law enforcement.
“We need an attorney general who will work with our law enforcement officers, not against them. I’ll defend the police, not defund them, – and give them the tools to do their job,” Miyares said in his campaign announcement video. “We need a conservative attorney general who will protect the rule of law – and that is not Mark Herring.”
The son of an immigrant, Miyares shared that his mother’s experience of leaving socialist Cuba at 19-years-old to seek a better life in America gave him perspective about the greatness of the United States and taught him what people can achieve living in a democracy.
Miyares is joining fellow Virginia Beach lawyer Chuck Smith, who unsuccessfully ran for attorney general back in 2017, on the Republican ticket.
Democratic candidates include Herring, who is seeking a third term in the position, and Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk.
“My values and my voting record of being a consistent conservative who believes in accountability and transparency and always standing with law enforcement shows people the type of attorney general I’ll be for them,” Miyares said.
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Virginia State Capitol” by Ron Cogswell. CC BY 2.0.