State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, officially launched his campaign for Attorney General in Richmond Tuesday saying he embarking on a mission defined by his desire "to help all Virginians secure a better future for themselves and their families."
"These desires can be summed up in the simple yet powerful goal of preserving and expanding freedom - a goal that, for all its simplicity, is the mission of more than one lifetime," Obenshain said. "It is a vision that animated the earliest settlers of this commonwealth, emboldened the revolutionary generation, and continues to inspire today."
A goal, Obenshain said, that was also the "enduring legacy" of his late father Richard Obenshain, who headed the Virginia Republican Party in the 1970's and died in a plane crash during his 1978 bid for the U.S. Senate.
Obenshain quoted from a note found by his mother on his father's desk shortly after he died in which Richard Obenshain wrote "The most important goal in my life is to have a meaningful impact on preserving - and expanding - the realm of personal freedom in the life of this nation."
"That was my father's vision and his legacy, and I've made it mine," Obenshain said. "As your next attorney general, I can think of no higher objective."
Flanked by former state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services Kay Cole James, Obenshain detailed his legislative accomplishments during his time in the General Assembly including tougher sentencing laws for a variety of crimes; fighting project labor agreements which threaten the state's right to work laws;charter school reform and "school-choice programs; and working to pass the Virginia Property Rights Amendment, which voters added to the state's constitution in the election earlier this month.
"As a state senator, I have worked to promote these goals, and I'm proud of my record and legislative achievements," Obenshain said. "I'm proud of my successes in which, working across the aisle, I was able to forge agreements that put the interests - and the liberties - of Virginians first and foremost."
Obenshain is being challenged for his party's nomination for attorney general by state Del. Rob Bell of Albemarle County. The Republicans will pick their nominee at a state convention in May.