Jones raises issue with Herring on Office of Civil Rights announcement

virginia politics

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About that announcement this morning from Attorney General Mark Herring about the launch of an Office of Civil Rights: Jay Jones, who is challenging Herring for the Democratic AG nomination, says it was his idea.

“The creation of an Office of Civil Rights is long overdue and has been a signature policy proposal of my campaign. Why did Mark Herring finally see the light after seven years of inaction?” said Jones, a Norfolk state delegate, who, per a release from his campaign Tuesday, first broached the topic in a speech on the House of Delegates floor in 2019.

“The creation of a Civil Rights Division is too important to be a mere political stunt for Herring’s reelection campaign. We must know if he acted in the interest of the Commonwealth, or if he used taxpayer-funded resources to benefit his own reelection,” Jones said.

This is Jones calling on Herring to release emails around the topic of creating an Office of Civil Rights.

“Mark Herring pledged in 2013 to take ‘politics out of the Attorney General’s office,’ but now in the middle of a re-election campaign he is using his government office to protect his own ambition,” Jones said. “Today I am calling on Attorney General Herring to release his office’s correspondence, documents and other official information around the creation of this division so the public can know that Mark Herring isn’t using his office to advance his own personal politics after his own scandals.”

One fellow House of Delegates member has Jones’ back on this: Richmond Democrat Jeff Bourne, who represents the 71st District.

“We need an Office of Civil Rights to help heal the deep wounds of racism in the Commonwealth, not as a tool for re-election,” Bourne said. “Mark has been a state legislator since 2006 and Attorney General for two terms.  Sadly it seems he only decided to get on board when he got a primary challenge from Delegate Jones, who has been pushing for a Civil Rights Division since he first got into the race.”

Story by Chris Graham


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