RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia voters cast their ballots and waited through Tuesday night for results in the Attorney General’s race. As of the early hours of Wednesday, the race had not been called.
Democrat and Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring and current House of Delegates Member Republican Jason Miyares ran a tight race with close polling right before the election and nail biting results tallying up on election night.
Miyares declared himself the victor early on Wednesday morning but the Associated Press has not called the race yet. As of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday the race was close with Miyares holding 50.8% of votes and Herring with 49.2%. There is still a small percentage of precincts that need to report their results.
If Herring wins reelection, he will be securing a third term in office and Miyares says if he wins, he will be the first child of an immigrant to hold the title.
Heading into election day, Miyares had raised $6.76 million towards his campaign and Herring had $7.78 million. Read a full breakdown of campaign fundraising here.
The candidates have stark ideological divides as well as different visions for the Office of Attorney General. Herring views the position as Virginia’s “top lawyer” while Miyares believes the attorney general should act as the state’s “top cop.”
8News interviewed both candidates and asked each, “If elected what would you tackle first?”
Herring said, “We’ve got to do more to stop gun violence. We have a gun violence problem in this county and in our Commonwealth. We’ve finally begun to get some stronger gun safety laws like expanded background checks, a red flag law, one gun a month–but there’s more that we can do.”
Miyares responded saying, “I’m going to investigate this parole board and the fact that they let out cop killers, murderers and rapists out early–sometimes with decades on their sentence and no one til this day has been fired or held accountable.”
Data from Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership released the week before the election, showed Herring carrying 48% of voters, Miyares with 47% of voters supporting him and 5% of voters were undecided. The attorney general’s race had the highest percentage of undecided voters when compared to the races for Governor and Lt. Governor.
8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher discussed the possibility of this particular race splitting the ticket on Tuesday evening. He said that there is a chance that the governor and lieutenant governor could both end up being Democrats but the attorney general’s race could finish in Miyares’ favor but he doesn’t find it likely.
“The issue here is that Jason Miyares is not the incumbent, Mark Herring is. Incumbents are very hard to dislodge they have all the advantages and Miyares had to make a case for why to fire Mark Herring,” Meagher said.
He said that if Republicans saw a higher turnout than Democrats that could seal a win for Miyares but otherwise it would be more likely for Herring’s incumbency to work in his favor.