Both are lawyers and state senators and both are named Mark, but that`s where the similarities end. Mark Herring and Mark Obenshain have dramatically different views on issues and on outgoing attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.
“For the past four years, we`ve had an attorney general who has misused the office and bent and twisted the law in order to impose policies on Virginians that are way outside the mainstream,” says Herring.
“Ken Cuccinelli served at a time when there`s been a changing relationship between the states and the federal government. And I certainly look at the strengths of each of them but I`m going to bring my own style to the office,” says Obenshain.
Herring has aggressively attacked Obenshain`s record on abortion, including support for a controversial ultrasound bill passed by the general assembly.
“I think that`s wrong and I would defend a woman`s right to choose and protect their right to privacy,” says Herring.
“I`m pro-life. I`m always going to stand up to protect those who can`t protect themselves,” says Obenshain
Obenshain voted against the transportation bill passed earlier this year. Herring supported it.
The two men also disagree on whether Virginia should accept federal money to expand Medicaid to low-income Virginians.
“I don`t believe the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion is the right way to solve that access to health care issue,” says Obenshain
“I think it would be irresponsible for Virginia not to move forward with Medicaid expansion and I`ll work with our next governor to make it happen,” says Herring.
Obenshain won the endorsement of republican Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, who crossed party lines to endorse Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the governor`s race.