Choices of attorney general

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In November, the voters of Virginia will choose between two candidates for attorney general, a position that many voters do not focus on. Their role is simply to be the people’s attorney and the chief law enforcement officer. This includes defending and protecting the constitution and the laws legally passed, with no consideration of politics.

Since 2014, Virginia has had an attorney general who has independently decided he does not like this role and has chosen to act as he wishes, choosing to defend the constitution and laws only based on his personal views.

This is not what he said during his campaign four years ago.

A few weeks before Attorney General Mark Herring won his 2013 Virginia Attorney General election, he wrote an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch vowing to “take politics out of the office,” to put the law first and to reject “extremist politics.”

In January, he placed his hand on the Bible and swore that he would defend the constitution and laws of Virginia. Within weeks, he was refusing to defend the definition of marriage that you, the voters, had overwhelmingly supported adding to the constitution just a few years earlier.

This required the state to hire an outside lawyer to represent you, the people.

Herring has a clear record of putting extremist politics ahead of his job.

When the General Assembly passed a law in 2011 requiring abortion facilities to comply with basic health, safety and sanitation standards, Herring declared that abortion businesses did not have to comply with state law.

The regulations included such simple things as having regular sanitation inspections and requirements for facility staff handling drugs.

Herring unilaterally voided concealed carry reciprocity agreements between Virginia and other states, a position that even Governor Terry McAuliffe considered too extreme and worked to reinstate.

John Adams, a non-political candidate for the office, has had enough of these illegal and unethical activities of Herring.

He is focused on doing the job as it should be done.

His goal is to restore honor and respect to the post by acting in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

Adams comes from outside the political establishment, but his resume is impressive — after completing military service, he enrolled in law school and working as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

He worked as associate White House counsel for President George W. Bush and then became a federal prosecutor in Richmond.

Later, after entering private practice, he has continued serving the public interest, doing pro bono work on behalf of nonprofit groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic nuns who serve the elderly poor and have been the targets of the abortion lobby, which sought, during the Obama Administration, to force employers of faith and conscience to cover abortion-inducing drugs and devices in their health care plans.

Adams is committed to treating the office of attorney general “the way it’s meant to be treated” and to protecting the state constitution and the rights of all Virginians.

There could not be a clearer contrast between Herring and Adams.

You have a clear choice to make this November.

Herring, who has manipulated the office to push extremist pro-abortion and anti-Second Amendment politics on Virginia, or Adams, who is a true public servant who has served our nation and now wants to remove politics from the office.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg County in the state Senate. His email address is