Mark Herring updates county on attorney general initiatives

Mark Herring updates county on attorney general initiatives

By Ruthann Carr, Correspondent

Whether it was the rain or the last-minute change of venue, only about 50 showed up Thursday (May 17) to hear the Virginia Attorney General.

They met at Lake Monticello’s Ashlawn Clubhouse to listen to Democratic 5th District candidate Leslie Cockburn introduce Attorney General Mark Herring.

Herring talked about the work he’s doing suing the Trump administration, working against human trafficking and getting millions of dollars of debt relief for Virginia veterans.

Cockburn has visited Fluvanna countless times. “I love Fluvanna. I’m endlessly here,” she told the crowd.

“I’m introducing a truly good man – and how many good men are there in politics?” she asked.

Cockburn praised the work Herring is doing and said his office is the hub, or the core, of the Commonwealth. “It’s where everything starts,” she said.

Herring said he was the first attorney general in 20 years to be re-elected.

“I see my office as the people’s office,” he said. “It’s my responsibility to keep the community safe and I’m fighting for you and your rights.”

Herring’s office has accomplished the following regarding the opioid epidemic:

  • Stopped 665 pounds of heroin from coming into Virginia;
  • Stepped up prevention education;
  • Trained local law enforcement on addiction and how to handle drug trafficking;
  • Befriended and learned from those recovering from addiction; and
  • Joined other states in suing drug companies for violating drug distribution laws.

His office has made the following strides regarding human trafficking:

  • Trained police on how to spot victims and human traffickers;
  • Added to law enforcement knowledge on how to investigate rape cases so the victim feels supported;
  • Works with and wants to replicate the successful Hampton Road Human Trafficking Task Force; and
  • Making sure all untested rape kits get tested.

Herring said out of more than 2,000 kits sitting dormant, 1,180 have been tested resulting in 262 profiles and 92 hits in the criminal database.

The attorney general highlighted his efforts in consumer protection.

“I’ve made it a priority of mine to go after shady retailers who target military families,” he said. “They are an easy target for scammers because they are often away training and they have a steady income.”

Herring said he won more than $100 million in debt relief for veterans.Under his direction, Virginia has joined several states in opposing the Trump administration’s travel ban, an injunction against ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and to stop the administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality – laws that will affect speed and accessibility of the internet.

Maggie Hoover was in the audience.

“I’m very excited about Leslie Cockburn’s experience and her understanding of Washington and politics,” Hoover said. “And I like Mark Herring’s priorities. I look forward to him working for sensible firearm safety laws.”

Leslie Wood said she was encouraged by Cockburn’s and Herring’s visit. “I appreciate them coming to our little corner of the Commonwealth,” she said.

Kathy Jacquary moved from Northern Virginia to Fluvanna recently and said she’s struck by how often government officials and candidates visit Fluvanna.

“I’m impressed with our level of representation,” she said. “I’ve only been here two years and I love the level of competency, quality and concern they have for citizens like us. I feel a bit more represented. It feels closer.”

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