State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain on Tuesday formally announced his bid for Virginia attorney general, an office his late father, Richard Obenshain, sought unsuccessfully in 1969.

State Sen. Mark Obenshain in a 2011 file photo. (Steve Helber/Associated Press)

“The most important goal in my life is to have a meaningful impact on preserving and expanding the realm of personal freedom in the life of this nation,” it said.

Obenshain said he shares his father’s philosophy and vowed to take it with him to the attorney general’s office, where he said he would fight “overbearing federal agencies” while protecting the right to bear arms, right-to-work laws and the energy industry.

“I will never back down when our liberties are on the line,” Obenshain said.

Obenshain is running against Del. Rob B. Bell III (R-Albemarle) for the GOP nomination. (John T. Frey, the clerk of the Fairfax County Circuit Court, has withdrawn from the race.) Two Democrats are also seeking the office being vacated by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), who is running for governor: Justin Fairfax, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Sen. Mark Herring of Loudoun.