“Virginia has spoken – we want safe streets, we want our police to be well trained and supported in the community and we want the rule of law respected,” were the words of Virginia’s new attorney general, Jason Miyares, a Cuban-American who defeated veteran Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who was seeking a third term in office, in a close election race.
Miyares is a man of clear ideals, during his campaign he bet on a strong law enforcement discourse promising to return security to the streets of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Republican also recalled on several occasions the journey faced by his mother, a Cuban who fled Castro’s communist regime in 1965 and came to the United States in search of a better life for her family. The Republican insisted that that was the moment where his story began, with his mother’s flight from communism.
“My mother fled Cuba in October 1965,” Miyares said during a speech in October. “And almost 50 years to the day she left she was able to go in the voting booth and get a ballot and vote for me to represent her in the oldest democracy in the Western hemisphere.”
“That’s what I call the American miracle,” the Republican added.
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This is not the first time Miyares has made history, in 2015, he became the first Cuban American to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly, he represented the 82nd District in the House.
According to a Washington Post profile, “Miyares has promised an about-face, saying he would take a stricter line on criminal offenders, support police, push for what he calls “common sense” measures to prevent voting fraud and probe the constitutionality of some laws passed by a legislature controlled by Democrats.”
The change in attorney general comes in response to the dissatisfaction of a good part of the Virginia population with the progressive approach Herring’s office pursued during his eight-year tenure.
Also, the scandal in Fairfax County, in which a young girl suffered years of sexual abuse, was mentioned during the campaign by Attorney General Miyares who “singled out two liberal Northern Virginia prosecutors by name —Fairfax County’s Steve Descano and Loudoun County’s Buta Biberaj— for what he called their lax handling of child sex abuse cases and domestic violence.”
Because of that case, and other controversies in Virginia, Miyares promised “to push for a bill in the state legislature that would allow the attorney general’s office to prosecute child sex offenses when county prosecutors decline to act,” according to the WaPo summary.
“The American dream is alive”
In his victory statement, Miyares thanked his mother for raising him, dedicated words to his daughter and wife, acknowledged the service work of his opponent Herring and was proud of the great opportunity and responsibility he was given by the citizens of Virginia.
“For 12 months, we’ve been asking Virginians if they were ready to win again. Today, they answered ‘yes’ to that question. Fifty-six years ago, my mother fled Cuba – with nothing but a dream – a dream for a better life for her family.” the statement reads. “Now I stand here today – elected to be the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia – the first-ever son of an immigrant and the first Latino ever to be elected statewide in the Commonwealth’s history. I’m humbled and honored – this election is proof that the American Dream is alive and well. Mom – you did well!!”.
“I’d like to thank my opponent, Attorney General Herring, for his years in public service and the sacrifice he’s made for our state. I know hard it can be. To my wife, Page, and my girls – thank you for going through this crazy journey with me. You are my rocks and I couldn’t have done this without you.,” the prosecutor added. “But most of all – I’d like to thank you, Virginia, for giving me the opportunity to make history (…) I intend on delivering on my campaign promises.”
Miyares said he is eager to work with Governor Youngkin and Lieutenant Governor Sears, the other two Republicans who pulled off the upset and broke the Democratic hegemony in Virginia along with the Cuban American. The Democrats had a decade of dominating statewide offices and in a single election lost the three most important offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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