SCOTT DREYER: “Red” Herring Gets the Pink Slip (Part 2)

(This is a follow-up to Part 1.)

Early in Mark Herring’s term as Virginia Attorney General (AG), I was often concerned by his leftwing positions and, seeking to be a responsible citizen, would call his office in Richmond to share my thoughts. As I remember, my calls would sometimes be taken by an aide who was curt and brusque, but they would usually just go to voicemail. The office recorded message had the obligatory “Your call is important to us so please leave your name and number and blah blah blah,” but no matter how often I left a message requesting a call back, I never got one.

As a history teacher at a Christian school in Roanoke at that time, I sometimes helped co-organize student trips to Richmond so our students could observe our state government first-hand. One year I made multiple tries to contact Herring’s office to request a meeting with someone on his staff to meet with us, but they kept ignoring all those attempts. 

I was discussing this situation with a member of the General Assembly from the Roanoke Valley and his explanation to me was, paraphrased, “A Christian school in our part of the state is not a demographic Mark Herring probably cares much about.”

There has been much chatter about why the Democrats were soundly defeated in Virginia’s elections this month, and the sweep ended Herring’s eight years as AG and, I hope, his political career. Much focus has been on how and why the Democrats lost most of rural Virginia so dramatically. I believe Herring’s and his staff’s rude cold-shoulder to our students on a field trip to Richmond hold part of the answer, if Democrats are sincerely looking for explanations. 

Today I watched a recent video where liberal comedian and talk show host Bill Maher asked, “Why do 62% of Americans consider the Democratic Party out of touch? I will tell you in plain English. No one likes a snob.”

When Governor Northam’s racist blackface/KKK photo scandal hit the fan in February 2019, AG Herring at first called on Northam to step down. Not long after, however, Herring admitted that he too had blackface photos from his days at UVA, so his calls for Northam to resign fell quickly silent. 

Despite Gov. Northam’s racist photo scandal getting more attention, AG Mark Herring had his own racist photo scandal.

Born in 1961, Herring could possibly mount a political comeback, but I personally hope his political career is over. 

Herring’s term ends on January 15, 2022 when he will be replaced by his challenger Jason Miyares of Virginia Beach. Virginia voters gave “Red” Herring the Pink Slip by letting Miyares beat Herring 50.6%-49.3%, besting him by about 43,000 votes. 

Miyares’ mother fled communism in Cuba in 1965 with only the clothes on her back. Now her son will become Virginia’s first Hispanic attorney general.

If the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC and Howard Dean and others think voting for the Hispanic Miyares instead of the lily-white Herring is racism, then I am guilty as charged.


Virginia 2021 Attorney General Election

-Scott Dreyer

Scott Dreyer M.A. in his classroom. Dreyer, of Roanoke, has been a licensed teacher since 1987 and now leads a team of educators teaching English and ESL to a global audience. Their website is


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