RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that he is endorsing Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) in the 2021 race for attorney general.
Jones, a Norfolk Native, has represented Virginia’s 89th District since 2018 and if elected, would be Virginia’s first Black Attorney General.
Jones won Northam's support over incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring, who is seeking his third term.
"It is time for a new generation of leaders to take the reins," Northam said in a statement. "Jay Jones has stood with me every step of the way in our journey to make Virginia a more just and equitable place to live."
Jones has championed justice reform and is the son and grandson of Civil Rights leaders.
"He has been my partner as we have worked to change our Commonwealth. He also understands the deep scars of racism and will represent the diversity of our Commonwealth. That is why I’m honored to endorse him in his race for Attorney General," Northam continued.
"I couldn’t be more humbled to receive Governor Northam’s endorsement in this race,” said Jones Thursday. "I’ve been enormously proud to stand with him every step of the way over the years, and I am excited to carry on the legacy that he and the First Lady are building. I am grateful for his support as we enter this new decade standing shoulder to shoulder to create the Virginia that we can all be proud of.”
Jones was first to enter the race for attorney general, announcing his candidacy in July 2021.
Herring's campaign said in a statement that “a contested primary is the sign of a healthy Democratic Party of Virginia.”
Jones and Herring will be on the ballot in a June Democratic primary.