Leesburg attorney Jennifer Wexton (D) announced Wednesday that she will campaign to fill the seat that would be vacated by state Sen. Mark R. Herring, who holds an apparent lead of 164 votes over Republican Mark D. Obenshain in the race for Virginia attorney general.
The results of the attorney general election will be certified Nov. 25, and a recount appears all but inevitable: though Herring declared his victory in a campaign statement, Obenshain has made it clear he does not intend to concede.
In a statement Wednesday, Wexton said she would run for Herring’s seat representing the Virginia Senate’s 33rd district “to continue Herring’s tradition of pragmatic problem-solving, while also standing strong against the extreme agenda of the Tea Party Republicans.”
Wexton, a partner with the Leesburg law firm Ritenour Paice Mougin-Boal & Wexton, has previously served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and substitute judge in Loudoun County. She made a bid for Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2011, a race she lost narrowly to Republican incumbent Jim Plowman.
“I’ve been increasingly troubled by the divisive agenda the extreme right-wing Republicans have been pushing in Richmond,” Wexton said in the prepared statement. “Here in Northern Virginia, families care about getting the economy back on track, improving our schools, and fixing our transportation problems. As State Senator, I’ll focus on what matters most to Northern Virginia families and get results, as Mark Herring has done.”
Republicans have not announced a candidate for the senate seat, but 10th District Republican Committee Chairman John Whitbeck is widely considered a strong possibility.
There is also speculation that Del. Joe T. May (R-Loudoun) could join the race. May, who has represented the Virginia House’s 33rd district for more than 20 years, lost his seat in the June Republican primary to Dave LaRock, a hard-line conservative newcomer.
A date for a special election to fill the Senate seat has not been set.
Staff writer Ben Pershing contributed to this report.