Two candidates with similar backgrounds compete for AG - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Candidates with similar backgrounds compete for Attorney General


It could turn out to be the most competitive race on Election Night.

Two veteran state senators are vying to become Virginia's next Attorney General. It is a position with enormous power, and an immense platform for the future.

Mark Herring and Mark Obenshain have a lot in common personally, but they couldn't be more different politically. That difference could end up deciding who will win this very competitive race.

When the race for governor has such compelling characters, it is easy for the candidates for Attorney General to get lost.

Obenshain- a state senator from Harrisonburg- and Herring a state senator from Loudon- know they won't have your attention for long, so when they do, they want to make an impression.

"Senator Obenshain would be a continuation of what we've seen of with Ken Cuccinelli," said Herring.

For Herring that means tying his opponent in every possible way to the man he hopes to replace. The democrat argues that Obenshain and Cuccinelli are allies, and he would continue the same style of leadership.

"We need an attorney general that is going to bring a mainstream approach, a pragmatic bi-partisan approach," he said.

But Obenshain rejects the idea that he is a Cuccinelli clone.

"I'm not running for ‘super legislator'," he said.  "I'm not going to be substituting my judgment for that of members of the general assembly"."

And Obenshain and herring both say that regardless of what they think- their job will be to defend the laws on books.

"The job of the attorney general is to defend and uphold the laws of the commonwealth of Virginia whether they agree with them or not," Obenshain said.

Their approach will be important in the minds of the voters, in part because it is about more than just being attorney general.  A sitting AG has been their party's nominee for governor in the last seven statewide elections.

And you can see our full interviews with both candidates on

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