Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 23, 2013, 7:00pm

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- One of the largest and most diverse labor unions has announced its support for Virginia Sen. Mark Herring in becoming the state's next attorney general.

Teamsters Joint Council 83 in Richmond -- a joint council of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters -- on Tuesday pointed to Herring's "tireless" efforts for Virginia working families in his two terms in the state Senate.

The union said Herring, a Democrat, has backed promises to support the state's working men and women by voting for project labor agreements, legislation to crack down on discrimination in the workplace, maintenance of current worker compensation levels and has supported rail construction within the transportation bill.

"I can think of no better candidate for attorney general than Mark Herring," Michael Brooks, secretary-treasurer of Joint Council 83, said in a statement.

"He has been a constant ally in our fight for workers' rights in the state of Virginia and I know he will continue to fight for the men and women of this state as attorney general."

The union noted that Herring has an outstanding track record, earning him high ratings from Virginia's AFL-CIO and other state labor groups.

He also has been a strong advocate fighting against worker misclassification and other unfair labor practices, which have been ignored for too long, Joint Council 83 said.

"Our members across the state will have a true champion with Mark Herring as attorney general," Brooks said.

Last month, Herring submitted petitions to have his name officially placed on the state's Democratic primary ballot for attorney general in June.

In a statement on his campaign website, he said he filed nearly 17,000 signatures.

"Thank you to the volunteers all across the Commonwealth who put in the hours and the hard work needed to get on the ballot. This is truly a grassroots effort, and the amount of support we've received in this campaign is humbling," said Herring, a state senator since 2006.

"I look forward to continuing our momentum over the coming weeks and months as we work to bring fundamental change to the office of attorney general."

The primary election will be held June 11, and the general election Nov. 5.

Two state lawmakers are vying for the GOP nomination for attorney general.

Mark Obenshain, who was elected to the state Senate in 2003, is running against state Delegate Rob Bell.

The state GOP will decide on its nominee at a May 18 convention in Richmond.

Incumbent Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, is running for governor rather than seek a second term as the state's top lawyer.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million working men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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