Attorney John Adams is the Republican nominee for Virginia Attorney General 

He’s running against Democrat Mark Herring Justin Fairfax

This election season, we’re asked candidates who wish to reach our readers a “why you should vote for me” email by Oct. 27, 2017. 

Adams sent us this email: 

The Attorney General of Virginia is a powerful position, overseeing Virginia’s law firm. The actions of the attorney general matter, impacting families all across the Commonwealth. That’s why I got into the race for attorney general in Virginia – because actions matter and our current attorney general has pursued a personal political agenda rather than defending the laws of Virginia.

I am not a politician and have never run for political office before. Instead, I have spent the majority of my professional career in public service and I have deep legal experience that I believe will benefit all Virginians. Since law school, I have clerked for a United States Supreme Court Justice (Clarence Thomas), been a Federal Prosecutor, and served as Associate Counsel to the President of the United States (George W. Bush). Most recently, I have helped run a large law firm representing many clients with complex and serious legal issues. I believe I have the legal experience to be the best possible lawyer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whether it is advising senior government officials, making difficult prosecutorial decisions, or representing Virginia in complex constitutional matters, I have the experience to get the job done and keep Virginians safe.

Here is what you can expect from me as attorney general. When Virginian’s pass laws, I will defend those laws even when I disagree with them. It’s our law, and Virginians should expect their attorney general to defend their choices. My opponent repeatedly refuses to defend the laws we pass (and at times has even turned on our state laws) and instead pursued his own personal political agenda. He has filed briefs in the United States Supreme Court undermining Virginia’s right to work law because he is beholden to big labor unions. He refused to defend other laws that were challenged like our voter ID law, because he personally disagrees with it. And he gave staff in his office backdoor pay raises using money from a Medicaid fraud settlement while other states used the money for public education and health care.

We have some serious issues facing the Commonwealth. We need an attorney general who will get serious about public safety. Cities across Virginia are seeing a rapid increase in violent crime and gang activity. And, fatal opioid overdoses have increased 66% in Virginia since Mark Herring took office. As a former Naval officer and federal prosecutor, as well as a volunteer fireman, I have first-hand experience working to make our communities safer. Public safety will be a top priority of mine as attorney general and I have the experience to provide the leadership needed to bring law enforcement and service providers together to get Virginia’s heroin and opioid crisis under control and address the rise in violence we are seeing across the Commonwealth. I was honored to receive the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Gang violence is increasing in Virginia, particularly in Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. We need to get serious about the increase in gangs, and also work to keep Virginia’s children out of gangs to begin with. In fact, I recently spent the day with the Northern Virginia Gang Taskforce learning more about these very problems. As a federal prosecutor, I worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement to get violent criminals off our streets. This included gang members through a collaborative program called Project Exile in the city of Richmond. Project Exile was instrumental in lowering gang violence and the murder rate in the city. I believe this program was successful and one that we should look at as a model for addressing the growing gang problems we are seeing across Virginia.

The number one job of the attorney general is to be Virginia’s lawyer. That means defending the laws passed by the legislature, even if the attorney general disagrees with them. Our current attorney general has repeatedly ignored the laws of Virginia or turned on his client – the Commonwealth of Virginia. It also means advising the Virginia General Assembly through the legislative process. If they are considering passing a law that violates the Constitution, I will do my best as a lawyer to give them good advice and ensure that laws that are passed are Constitutional. Finally, I will stand up to federal overreach, regardless of who is in power in Washington, D.C.

I would be honored to have your vote. You can learn more about my campaign at

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