Richmond Times-Dispatch

Miyares to seek GOP nomination for AG

Former prosecutor in Va. Beach has served as delegate since ’ 16

- BY ANDREWCAIN acain@timesdispa­ (804) 649-6645 Twitter: @AndrewCain­RTD

Del. Jason Miyares, RVirginia Beach, announced Wednesday that he is seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general, saying the state’s leaders are “more concerned about the rights of criminals than they are of victims.”

Miyares, a former Virginia Beach prosecutor, has served in the House since 2016.

Miyares said in a statement that the experience of his mother, Miriam Maria Miyares, who fled Cuba in 1965, taught him the value of freedom.

“My mother’s story reminds me that Socialism is the opposite of the Rule of Law; and how dangerous it is when leaders forget the people they serve,” he wrote.

“I don’t take freedom for granted, we all are called to protect the things that make America great.”

Portraying himself as “a lonely conservati­ve voice of reason in Richmond,” Miyares charged that “the liberal majority has gotten out of control.”

The General Assembly recently ushered through a host of police reforms, spurred by protests in Richmond and nationally after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapoli­s.

Miyares criticized Democrats for backing measures to hasten release dates for certain prisoners and to end qualified immunity for police. (Lawmakers rejected bills to scrap qualified immunity.)

He also criticized what he termed “a politicall­y motivated parole board in desperate need of reform.”

An initial inspector general’s report released in July said the parole board violated the law and its own policies in releasing inmate Vincent Martin, who was sentenced in 1980 to life in prison for killing Richmond police officer Michael Connors.

In an announceme­nt video, Miyares alludes to the challenges for Republican­s, who have not won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. He asserts that his stances — backing police and advocating to keep communitie­s safe — will find a broad audience.

“I know there’s a majority that will defend the freedom our nation offers, especially our newest Americans,” Miyares says.

Miyares has a bachelor’s degree in business administra­tion from JamesMadis­on University and a law degree from the College of William & Mary. He and his wife, Page Atkinson Miyares, an owner and broker at Atkinson Realty, have three daughters.

Chuck Smith, a Virginia Beach lawyer who unsuccessf­ully ran for attorney general in 2017, also is seeking the GOP nomination.

Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, is seeking a third four-year term. Del.

Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, also is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Miyares was a Virginia cochairman of the 2016 presidenti­al bid of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who also is a son of Cuban immigrants. Rubio headlined a Virginia fundraiser for Miyares in December 2017.

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