Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors member and lawyer Leslie Haley announced her bid for the Republican nomination in the 2021 Virginia Attorney General election on Thursday.
Haley, who has represented the Midlothian District on the board since 2016 with stints as both the chair and vice chair, launched her campaign to be the Commonwealth’s top attorney through a press release and short video.
“I’m running for attorney general to provide steady conservative leadership to Virginia that will work to end corruption, restore integrity, and fight unconstitutional government overreach in Richmond,” Haley said in the release. “It’s time the people of Virginia have an Attorney General who will represent them and not progressive interest groups who want to change the fabric of Virginia.”
In the announcement video, Haley praised her own ethical integrity and mentioned priorities that align with staples of conservative values such as protecting constitutional rights, standing with law enforcement and never defunding the police, and being a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment and the lives of unborn babies.
Additionally, Haley promised to hold opioid dealers and drug manufacturers accountable and be the “strongest advocate for children the Commonwealth of Virginia has ever had as an attorney general.”
I have some big news! Today, I'm announcing my campaign for Attorney General of Virginia. For too long, our leaders have left the people of Virginia behind to chase a career in politics. I'm running for Attorney General to bring back conservative values to Virginia. #VApolitics pic.twitter.com/NtAGIvWz6Q
— Leslie Haley for Virginia Attorney General (@HaleyForVA) January 14, 2021
Haley is the third Republican candidate to enter the race so far. She joins Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) as well as veteran and Hampton-Roads lawyer Chuck Smith in the contest for the GOP nomination.
When asked for comment on his newest opponent, Miyares wrote: “My focus is my own race and stopping the out-of-control liberal majority in Richmond. As a former prosecutor with a proven record, I’ve seen first-hand how Democrats are making Virginia less safe and secure.”
Smith told The Star that he did not know anything about Haley, but was confident in his fundraising skills and ability to secure the nomination. Smith also wished Haley well.
This year, Republican candidates for statewide offices will need to earn the GOP spot in the general election through a convention after the party voted to switch up the nominating process in early December. On Saturday, the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee held another vote on the matter and failed to clarify their decision with members split between a convention or primary election.
For the Democrats, current attorney general Mark Herring is seeking re-election to a third term in the position, while Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones (D-Norfolk) is also running.
Haley earned undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University. She is currently a partner at her private practice Park Haley LLP, which focuses on ethics and business law. Additionally, Haley spent 14 years at the Virginia State Bar as a senior assistant ethics counsel, according to a bio.
“Good old boy political insiders [who are] out for themselves have failed us for far too long,” Haley said in the campaign video. “Virginia deserves a tough, experienced and independent attorney general defending our conservative values and keeping our families safe without ever compromising one’s ethics, and that’s exactly what I’ll be every single day.”
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