RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Republican Jason Miyares was sworn in as Virginia’s attorney general on Saturday, becoming the first Latino to hold statewide office.

Miyares defeated Democrat Mark Herring, a two-term incumbent, in November’s statewide elections. He credited his mother, who fled communist Cuba and became a U.S. citizen, throughout his campaign for instilling “a passionate love of the freedom and democracy of America.”

A former assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Virginia Beach, Miyares became the first Cuban American to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly when he won the vacant Virginia Beach House seat in 2015.

Called “the commonwealth’s law firm,” Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General can conduct or assist certain criminal investigations and prosecutions, provide information to the public on scams and enforce state consumer protections laws. 

Among several other duties, the attorney general can also issue official legal opinions to lawmakers and give legal advice and representation to the governor and state government agencies. The AG’s office also works with Virginia’s law enforcement agencies “to prepare for emerging public safety threats and to promote successful, secure communities.”

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