Government & Politics
4:38 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Attorney General Candidates Debate

Mark Herring & Mark Obenshain

The federal government shutdown provided fuel for the Democratic candidate for Attorney General to take shots at his Republican rival during their second debate.  

But while GOP Senator Mark Obenshain did not distance himself from the group which Democratic Senator Mark Herring says is behind the shutdown, the Republican painted his opponent as a figurehead who lacks vision and understanding of the office of Attorney General. 

Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports.

Herring says Obenshain is aligned too closely with the rest of the GOP statewide ticket, whom he alleges want to bring their personal ideals into governing. He says they lack a sense of compromise, as do the Tea Party-favored lawmakers that he believes are behind the federal shutdown. He also highlighted the Star Scientific controversy involving the Attorney General and the Governor.

But Obenshain fired back, saying he has called for more transparency in the AG's office AND ethics reform and would continue to push for them as Attorney General even if the General Assembly failed to act. He also says he would advance business reforms that he believes will build the economy—something he says Herring has yet to do. The debate was before Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce members, who are especially concerned about tolls. Obenshain adds that he would represent commuters at State Corporation Commission hearings, while he says his opponent has failed to make that pledge.