Metro Weekly

Herring nets Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce endorsement

LGBTQ advocates previously asked the Chamber to take into account the anti-LGBTQ record of Republican John Adams

Photo: Mark Herring. Credit: Glenn Fajota/American Foundation for Equal Rights.

The Northern Virginia Business Political Action Committee, the PAC for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, has announced that it is endorsing incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring (D) for re-election.

“General Herring has ably served the Commonwealth, just as he did serving Northern Virginia in the Senate and Loudoun County on the Board of Supervisors,” Scott McGeary, a Chamber member and the chair of NOVABIZPAC. “He has a record of leadership on a host of key business issues important to the Northern Virginia Chamber, including his unwavering support for the landmark HB2313 transportation plan, and his commitment to modernize Virginia’s regulatory framework to prepare the Commonwealth for the emerging technologies that will lead private sector growth in the 21st century.”

Herring thanked the group for its endorsement and said he looked forward to working with the group in the future.

“As Attorney General, I work every day to keep Virginians and their families safe, and make sure Virginia is the best place to live, learn, work, raise a family, and to start and grow a business,” he said in a statement. “Living in Loudoun County, I have had a front row seat to Northern Virginia’s transformation into a global magnet for talent, technology, and investment. I’ve had the privilege to work on solutions to many issues of importance to Northern Virginia businesses and workers, like growing our technology sector and finding bipartisan solutions to solve our transportation challenges.”

The endorsement represents a major coup for the Herring campaign as the attorney general attempts to paint himself as a common-sense, pro-business reformer who will help Virginia maintain its reputation as a good place to set up or expand a business without fear of overregulation.

Typically, most Chambers of Commerce tend to prefer Republican candidates, making the Chamber’s endorsement of an incumbent Democrat unique. Additionally, it was unknown how well corporate leaders would receive Herring’s actions in office to protect consumers from fraud or abuse, or whether they would label him “hostile” to business.

Aware of those political realities, Equality Virginia Advocates had previously sent a letter to the Chamber, the Hampton Roads Business PAC, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC asking them not to endorse Republican AG candidate John Adams due to his hostility toward LGBTQ rights. Adams became infamous after he called for the General Assembly to impeach Herring after the attorney general refused to defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Equality Virginia Advocates’ executive director, James Parrish, praised the Chamber for its endorsement of Herring.

“It is obvious that if John Adams were elected Attorney General, he would pursue efforts to undermine equal rights,” Parrish said in a statement. “His vocal opposition to marriage equality and criticism of efforts to protect the rights of transgender Virginians would damage Virginia’s business-friendly reputation and send a hostile message to LGBT employees.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com