Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring plans to run for governor in 2021

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring intends to run for governor in 2021, he told the Washington Post on Friday.

RICHMOND, VA – FEBRUARY 14: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks at a press conference following the state’s decision to overturn its gay marriage ban after the Bostic v Rainey court case on February 14, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. Herring spoke about his belief that same sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and explained the ruling’s finer details. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“Our work to reduce gun violence, protect healthcare, and pushback on the Trump Administration has been some of the most important work I’ve ever done, and it’s made Virginians’ lives better in real, tangible ways,” he said in an email to the Post. “I’ve been really honored to play a part in building a safer, stronger, more economically dynamic and inclusive Commonwealth as a county supervisor, a state senator, and as attorney general, and I think the best way to continue that work would be as Governor. There’s still a lot I want to accomplish as attorney general, but when the time comes I’ll be ready.”

Related: Virginia Attorney General Herring talks combating hate crimes in Norfolk 

Herring, a former state senator from Leesburg, is serving his second term as attorney general. The Post also noted Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is considered a “likely contender” for the Democratic nomination, along with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and former congressman Tom Perriello as possibilities.

Related: As hate crimes rise, Virginia’s Attorney General proposes legislation to address increase 

Herring once vied for a seat in the Executive Mansion in the 2017 election cycle but bowed out, avoiding a nomination battle against his former Senate seatmate, then-Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is now governor.

Virginia only allows governors to serve one term, meaning Northam cannot run for re-election in 2021.