Race for Virginia Attorney General in 2025 taking shape

Virginia Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, receives a round of applause from fellow Delegates after a speech on racial equality on the floor of the House. Steve Helber/Associated Press.

By Michael O'Connor

May 6, 2024

Jay Jones got endorsed by a Fairfax attorney previously seen as a possible rival this week in the Democratic primary for attorney general.

The race for another statewide race in 2025 is coming into focus in Virginia.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced Monday he would not seek the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2025. Instead, Descano is endorsing former Hampton Roads delegate Jay Jones and joining the political committee Virginians for Jay Jones as co-chair.

Descano was expected by some to run for attorney general, one of the three Virginia statewide offices voters will decide in 2025, so his announcement came as something of a surprise. The current attorney general is Republican Jason Miyares, who was elected in 2021.

“Attorney General Jason Miyares has used his office to advance an extreme, MAGA agenda that threatens the safety of all Virginians,” Descano said in a statement. “Through his time in the General Assembly and as an attorney, Jay (Jones) has been an advocate for abortion rights, gun safety, and other policies that defend justice and safety.”

Jones has not officially announced plans to run, though if he does it would not be his first try. Jones ran in the 2021 Democratic primary for attorney general but lost to then incumbent attorney general Mark Herring. Herring was seeking a second term as attorney general but lost to Miyares in the general election. Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita did not say what Miyares’ plans are once his current term is up, though she said, “it is critical that we maintain common sense leadership in Richmond.”

Virginians for Jay Jones has raised $219,516 in 2024, according to The Virginia Public Access Project. Jones’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2025 races

Virginians will vote on races for attorney general, governor, and lieutenant governor in 2025.

The Democratic primary for lieutenant governor has attracted four candidates: state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi of Chesterfield; Babur Lateef, a doctor and Prince William School Board member; state Sen. Aaron Rouse of Virginia Beach; and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

WATCH: Virginia Democratic primaries heat up

In the governor’s race, US Rep. Abigail Spanberger has a clear path to become the Democratic nominee after Stoney left the race to seek the lieutenant governor’s nomination. Current Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, cannot seek another term because Virginia’s constitution does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms.

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Follow Political Correspondent Michael O’Connor here.

  • Michael O'Connor

    Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Virginia news since 2013 with reporting stints at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Business, and Richmond BizSense. A graduate of William & Mary and Northern Virginia Community College, he also covered financial news for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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