|48th Attorney General of Virginia|
January 11, 2014
|Preceded by||Ken Cuccinelli|
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 33rd district
February 1, 2006 – January 11, 2014
|Preceded by||Bill Mims|
|Succeeded by||Jennifer Wexton|
|Born||Mark Rankin Herring
September 25, 1961 
Johnson City, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Laura Herring (?–present)|
|Residence||Leesburg, Virginia, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Virginia (B.A.; M.A.)
University of Richmond (J.D.)
|Profession||Attorney and politician|
Mark Rankin Herring (born September 25, 1961) is an American attorney and politician. He is the 48th and current Attorney General of Virginia, defeating Republican candidate Mark Obenshain in a close election. He is a member of the Democratic Party. On January 31, 2006, he was elected to the Senate of Virginia, in a special election. He formerly represented the 33rd district, made up of parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
Education and career
Herring obtained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in foreign affairs and economics at the University of Virginia. He also obtained a Master of Arts in foreign affairs from UVA. He subsequently obtained a J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law.
He served in elected office on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2003, and was the Town Attorney for Lovettsville, Virginia, from 1992 to 1999. He is the principal with The Herring Law Firm, P.C., in Leesburg, Virginia.
On July 24, 2012, he announced that he would run for the office of Attorney General of Virginia, in the 2013 elections. On April 2, 2013, The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) certified that Herring's name would appear on the June primary ballot, along with that of former assistant United States Attorney Justin Fairfax. On June 11, 2013, Herring won the primary.
Attorney General of Virginia
Herring faced Justin Fairfax in the Democratic primary in June 2013, winning narrowly by a margin of 52%-48%. He faced Republican Mark Obenshain in the general election.
On the night of the election, Obenshain held a 1,200 vote lead over Herring. Vote totals fluctuated as ballots were canvassed in the following days, and the race remained too close to call. On November 12, 2013, with all ballots counted, Herring held a 165 vote lead, or less than 0.01%, and Obenshain requested a recount. Herring's total increased during the recount, so Obenshain conceded the election on December 18, 2013, and later that day, the recount ended with Herring winning by 907 votes, or 0.04%.
Herring was sworn into office on January 11, 2014.
On January 23, 2014, Herring announced that he would not defend the Virginia Marriage Amendment in federal court, and filed a brief in a federal lawsuit being brought against the law asking for it to be struck down. Herring said in a press conference announcing the move, "I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I intend to ensure that Virginia is on the right side of history and the right side of the law."
Reaction to the announcement was mainly along party lines, with Democrats mostly praising the move and Republicans mostly criticizing it as a violation of his oath of office. The National Organization for Marriage has called for Herring's impeachment, claiming that the Virginia attorney general is obligated to defend all state laws against challenges. In the press conference, Herring stated "There are those who will say that the attorney general is required to defend every challenge to a state law, even a law that is unconstitutional. They could not be more wrong.” and referenced previous cases where attorneys general have refused to defend challenged laws.
- "Senator Mark R. Herring; Democrat - District 33". Senate of Virginia. Retrieved June 8, 2011.[dead link]
- Nobles, Ryan. "Herring leads by 163 votes after all ballots officially counted - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News". NBC12.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- Jessica Taylor. "Dem pulls ahead by razor-thin margin". MSNBC. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- "Meet Mark Herring". Retrieved January 16, 2009.[dead link]
- "Senator Mark R. Herring (VA)". Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- "Herring To Run For Attorney General Seat". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Herring to seek attorney general post, restore ‘credibility’ to the office". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Walker, Julian (April 2, 2013). "McAuliffe named Dem governor nominee, 4 others make ballot". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- Pershing, Ben and Errin Whack (2013-06-11). "Democrats give nod to Northam, Herring in statewide races". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- Korff, Jay. "Virginia election 2013: Mark Herring claims Attorney General victory". WJLA. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Ress, Dave (December 19, 2013). "It's official: Recount results show 907 vote margin for Herring". Daily Press. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Va. Attorney General Mark Herring files brief opposing same-sex marriage ban The Washington Post
- Va. lawmakers split along party lines on AG’s move The Washington Post
- AG wants Virginia on ‘right side of history’ POLITICO
- Official website
- Senator Mark Herring at the Senate of Virginia
- Mark Herring at the Virginia Public Access Project
- Senator Mark Herring (D-Leesburg) at Richmond Sunlight
|Senate of Virginia|
|Virginia Senate, District 33
Jennifer Wexton (Senator-elect)
|Attorney General of Virginia