Opinion: Commentary: Krizek Calls for a Change for Attorney General

Opinion: Commentary: Krizek Calls for a Change for Attorney General

In just two weeks, from April 23 to Tuesday, June 8, voting takes place to decide who the next statewide leaders will be, including who the Democratic nominee for Attorney General will be in November. The office of the Attorney General is like the Commonwealth’s very own law firm, with the Attorney General the top lawyer of the firm defending the interests of Virginians and the Virginia government. Attorney General is a very important executive position that includes many duties and powers granted by state law including: providing legal advice and representation for the Governor and the state government, defending the state and constitutionality of state laws, collecting money owed to state institutions, and providing official legal opinions to members of the General Assembly and local governmental officials.

To accomplish all of this, the Attorney General has a very big supporting cast — the “law firm of Virginia” with a number of deputies under a chief deputy, 40 or so additional attorneys, and dozens of legal assistants and support staff. It is an office that with the right leader at the helm, will protect consumers, fight against the exploitation of workers, combat the scourge of human trafficking, and critically, lead us in reforming our broken justice system to prevent routine traffic stops turning into egregious police abuse of power, as witnessed once again by the recent court case involving two police officers and an army lieutenant in the small town of Windsor last December.

You may ask just who is best suited to lead us into the next decade to meet these challenges during this historic and critical juncture? There is one person who really stands above the rest. I know him well as I serve with him in the General Assembly and am very impressed with his knowledge, experience, and leadership skills. He is outspoken against injustice and yet, expresses the empathy and compassion necessary to bring sides together. He is willing to face these challenges and, like Virginia, will rise to the occasion with the urgency that it demands.

I recommend a new, fresh face: Delegate Jay Jones. Right now, in our Commonwealth’s history, we are at a turning point. We can move forward and embrace the new Virginia or we can cling to the old way of doing things. Jay Jones is the right candidate for this moment and will bring not just a fresh face, but new progressive ideas, and a new perspective to the Attorney General’s office.

Jay, an attorney and Delegate from Norfolk, is making a bid to become Virginia’s first Black Attorney General. He is no stranger to politics or the law. His father and mother are both judges and Jay followed in his father’s footsteps as a Delegate representing the community he grew up in. In fact, his grandfather overcame systemic racism and discrimination to become a pioneering Black lawyer in Virginia.

His family is not shy about being on the forefront of change and believes in a Commonwealth that embraces everyone, no matter who you are or what you look like. Jay is the embodiment of that spirit of inclusiveness and bold change, representing a new generation of leadership that we need desperately now as we endeavor to become a more equitable and thriving society for everyone. He recognizes that it is time to build true trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve by holding officers who abuse their position accountable.

Join me and vote for Jay Jones for Attorney General in the upcoming Democratic primary. There will be early mail voting as early as Friday, April 23 and ending Saturday, June 5th. The deadline to request a ballot to vote by mail will be on Friday, May 28. You can request a vote by mail ballot at vote.elections.virginia.gov/voter information. Curbside voting is available due to COVID-19 and early voting in person the two Saturdays before the election will be available, on May 29 and June 5.