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Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor launches campaign for Attorney General

Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General last week for Election Day 2025.

Taylor has served more than a decade as Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney and has more than 28 years as an experienced lawyer both as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

She has been a leader in standing up to former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. While serving as President of the Virginia Prosecutors, Taylor also immediately helped spearhead that first wave of pushback from prosecutors nationwide who stood against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.  The very day of the Dobbs decision decimating Roe v Wade, Taylor announced she would not prosecute women or medical providers for abortion care.

Taylor’s long record of advancing racial justice includes successfully prosecuting the leader of the Virginia KKK who attempted to run over Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020.

Taylor has stood up opposing Attorney General Jason Miyares’ bigoted action against LGBTQ+ Virginians. She has spoken up against his desired rollbacks of Title IX which, among other things, weaken protections for LGBTQ+ students. She also has issued a strong statement opposing his actions to destroy DEI in law schools, saying that the legal profession, to truly support justice, must look like America.

“When MAGA extremists push laws that punish women for making private healthcare decisions, women need to fight back. And when our extremist Attorney General tries to deprive our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors of their rights, we need to stand strong. I won’t let Jason Miyares, Glenn Youngkin or any MAGA extremist strip women of our fundamental reproductive rights or discriminate against any minority,” Taylor said.

She said an experienced and proven prosecutor as Democratic nominee for Virginia Attorney General is necessary to defeat extremism and hate. 

“I am the only candidate who has flipped a seat from Red to Blue in what was a Republican leaning locality and the only candidate with a proven record of successfully prosecuting many hundreds of cases.”

In 2011, Taylor came to office after beating the U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the Henrico Republican political machine in an upset win. In the ensuing decade, she has been a strong leader in turning Henrico from Red to Blue, where now the Board of Supervisors and the General Assembly delegation are majority Democratic.  Taylor is proud of leading that charge and fighting for Democratic gains.

Taylor has also advocated to the General Assembly to reform Virginia’s criminal laws. She has worked to strengthen hate crime laws, enhance stalker penalties and to get guns off the street. She worked with her local legislators to pass Lucia’s Law which penalizes parents or guardians who leave a gun unsecured with a minor in the home when the adults have been notified that the child could be dangerous.

As a longtime champion of gun safety, Taylor has the endorsement of Lori Haas, the Advocacy Manager for the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions and a leading Virginia and national advocate for gun safety.

“Shannon is a longtime partner in the fight to reduce gun violence – helping me advance impactful public safety laws to address illegal and harmful firearm use. She is hands down the most qualified and experienced candidate in this race,” said Haas.

In her years of service, Taylor has led progressive reforms in the county prosecutor’s office. When she was sworn in, the office was almost entirely male and white, but she brought in women in leadership positions and worked to have the office resemble the diversity of the County. She has instituted criminal justice reforms including ongoing work with recovery organizations and mental health support while also offering diversionary programs to help offenders succeed.

“I am eager to bring my years of actual experience in the law, my decade of running one of the largest Commonwealth’s Attorney’s offices, my successes in fighting hate and bigotry, and my years of keeping communities safe to the Attorney General’s office to ensure progressive, responsive leadership for ALL Virginians,” Taylor said. 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.