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Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Northam has endorsed Delegate Jay Jones over incumbent Mark Herring for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Northam said today he is “proud to stand” with the Norfolk delegate in his bid to become Virginia’s next attorney general and the first African American to hold the office.

Current Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking a third term against Jones, his opponent in a June Democratic primary. “It is time for a new generation of leaders to take the reins,” Northam said in statement. “He has been my partner as we have worked to change our Commonwealth. He also understands the deep scars of racism and will represent the diversity of our Commonwealth.”

A political aide for Northam said the Governor has a long, personal relationship with Jones and his family, and a desire to see Hampton Roads represented in the Democratic ticket for statewide offices. Like Northam, Mark Herring was involved in a race-based scandal in February 2019. After Mark Herring called for Northam to resign over the governor’s response to disclosure of a racist photo on Northam’s medical school yearbook page, Herring disclosed that as a student at the University of Virginia he had worn blackface while dressing as a rapper for a party.

On his Facebook page Jay Jones said today he is “grateful for Ralph Northam’s support as we enter this new decade standing shoulder to shoulder to create the Virginia that we can all be proud of.”