The Virginia Public Access Project has released raw reports of campaign finance activity for Virginia candidates for the period ending December 21, 2015. The numbers aren’t pretty for Virginia’s current Attorney General.
In contrast, his putative Republican rival’s Rob Bell for Attorney General account shows a whopping amount of cash on hand of $634,196!
Herring’s deficit to Bell may help explain why the Attorney General is working hand-in-glove with organizations from out-of-state who are pushing radical anti-gun policies. Herring recently capitulated to these groups by denying concealed weapons permit reciprocity with 31 other states (See part 1 and part 2 of Paul Prados’ exclusive investigative reporting for The Bull Elephant, which broke the story of Herring’s coordination with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence). Clearly, Herring expects to be rewarded as his 2017 race draws near.
Bell still has to secure the Republican nomination at the 2017 Republican Party of Virginia State Convention. However, if his performance in his 2013 race (when he narrowly lost to popular Republican Sen. Mark Obenshain) is any indicator, Bell will likely be the hardest working candidate in the field, which together with his fundraising haul gives him clear frontrunner status against any other candidates who may emerge.
That’s a good thing for Republicans. As we’ve seen since Herring first took office, elections have consequences. In this case, Herring has abused his powers and tied the law into knots at every opportunity. The 2017 election is where that’s all going to stop.