(Mark Herring)

Herring joins a growing number of candidates who have announced for statewide office next year.

He immediately took a shot at Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), who he said was using his office for political reasons, and the Republicans who are using him as a model in their own campaigns. Cuccinelli is running for governor.

“I don’t think we are have seen an attorney general like this before,’’ he said in an interview.

Herring was elected to the Senate in 2006, representing Loudoun and Fairfax counties. He previously served as a Loudoun County Supervisor for four years.

Candidates have been lining up for the AG job since Cuccinelli announced in December that he would not run for reelection, but instead would challenge Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) for governor.

Late last year, Del. Robert Bell (R-Charlottesville) announced he would run to be the state’s top lawyer. Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) said he will explore running.

On the Democratic side, former House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D), who lost his seat after Republicans eliminated his largely rural Southside district, has said he is considering running for attorney general.

Mike Signer, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2009, also is expected to run for attorney general, according to several Democrats familiar with his plans but not authorized to speak publicly.