In the race for attorney general, Virginia voters have a choice between two state senators with strong professional qualifications, lengthy legislative records and the same first name.

But Mark Obenshain, a Harrisonburg Republican, and Mark Herring, a Loudon County Democrat, differ profoundly on their priorities and on political policy and philosophy.

Those beliefs have been made clear through campaign platforms and speeches, legislative proposals and Senate votes. And they will undoubtedly shape how the winner will fill the role of the commonwealth’s top attorney and chief consumer advocate. The record reflects Herring is better suited for the job.

Obenshain has developed a reputation in the Senate during the past nine years as a legislator who favors ideology over the common interest. That approach has led him to support proposals that tread on shaky legal ground: granting legal rights at conception, mandating photo identification to cast a ballot and gerrymandering Senate district boundaries in an off year, for example.

Herring fought each of those measures and has increasingly established himself..

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