Meet the candidates for attorney general - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Meet the candidates for attorney general

John Adams and Mark Herring (Source: Facebook) John Adams and Mark Herring (Source: Facebook)

Voters head to the polls in one week. One of the most competitive, and some say negative, races in Virginia is the race for attorney general.

Democrat Mark Herring narrowly won the attorney general's race four years ago. This time, he's in another tight race. Polls show Herring with only a small lead over Republican challenger John Adams.

John Adams, who grew up in Chesterfield, is a Navy veteran and attorney who has worked as White House counsel, a federal prosecutor and for the McGuire Woods law firm. He's a political conservative, but he says his beliefs won't influence his decisions.

"I think the people deserve to have an attorney general who runs a law firm that represents the Commonwealth of Virginia and looks out for Virginia's law, Virginia's policy, doesn't interject politics into everything," said Adams.

He says one of his top priorities would be tackling the opioid crisis by putting a substance abuse coordination center in the attorney general's office and aggressively prosecuting drug dealers.

"These dealers are killing four Virginians a day. They're bringing in dangerous, dangerous drugs, and they're facilitating untold carnage on Virginia families," he said.

Adams says his office will challenge regulations that burden business growth and fight what he calls overreaching mandates on healthcare.

"If the federal government exceeds its authority and harms Virginians, than the attorney general of Virginia should file a lawsuit," Adams explained.

Adams says he'll uphold Virginia's strict standards on abortion clinics, but he has said he has zero interest in limiting access to birth control.

Former state senator and current Attorney General Mark Herring says he's most proud of his work fighting the opioid epidemic.

"I'm also part of a 41-state attorneys general investigation into the pharmaceutical manufacturers to see if there have been any unlawful practices with marketing or distribution," Herring added.

He recouped tens of millions of dollars fighting Medicaid fraud and consumer scams. On inclusiveness, he challenged Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage and President Trump's first travel ban.

"When the President takes actions that cross legal boundaries and constitutional lines and Virginians are hurt, I won't hesitate to stand up and protect Virginians from that," said Herring.

Herring also sued the Trump administration for its move to end subsidies to insurance companies, and he says he'll keep fighting for Virginians' access to Obamacare.

"They're worried pre-existing conditions are no longer going to be covered. They're worried co-pays and higher deductibles are going to come back. As attorney general, I'm going to continue to fight for their healthcare," Herring said.

VIDEO: Raw interview with John Adams

VIDEO: Raw interview with Mark Herring

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