Shannon Taylor, the three-term Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henrico County, is exploring a run for attorney general next year.
In a blanket solicitation last week, a Taylor supporter sent a link to a donation website, encouraging immediate contributions to help launch her campaign ahead of the 2021 election cycle.
Taylor, a Democrat, said colleagues and supporters are encouraging her to run, but that she is not ready to announce her candidacy.
“I’m incredibly flattered… but my focus right now is on my job,” she said of her current role, adding that she’s working with other “progressive” prosecutors around the state to study potential criminal justice reforms in the wake of protests across Virginia and the rest of the country over police brutality against African Americans.
“I’m focused on cases impacting the community and making the changes, not only in Henrico, but in this Commonwealth,” she said. “Hopefully Virginia will be an example for the rest of the country.”
David Rook, president of True Recovery RVA, a local organization that provides housing and resources for people with substance-use disorder, sent the solicitation email Friday evening.
“I’m writing to enlist and encourage your support of my good friend Shannon Taylor ... in her bid to become Virginia’s next Attorney General in 2021,” Rook said.
“Having known Shannon well for the last 10 years, I am extraordinarily impressed by the experience she brings to the table, her notable accomplishments and her record of campaign success,” he said. “This experience is needed now more than ever in this uncertain time.”
Rook’s email asked for supporters to donate to Taylor’s campaign by a June 30 finance report deadline to the state to help her amass a six-figure cash fund balance. In an interview Monday, Rook said he hoped his email would nudge Taylor to begin her campaign.
“She’s a strong candidate who knows how to win elections,” he said. “I wanted to get people excited about it and give her the push that she might need.”
Taylor, according to Virginia Public Access Project, spent $180,000 last year in her bid for a third term as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henrico. She won with 63% of the vote in the countywide race.
Her most recent campaign finance disclosure report, filed with the state in January, shows a remaining campaign fund balance of $54,000.
No one has officially announced their intention to run for attorney general in next year’s election. In April, Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, told the Washington Post that he is exploring a run for the office next year.
Attorney General Mark Herring, the Democrat who currently holds the seat, has said he intends to run for governor in 2021.