CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two men are on the ballot for the state's top prosecutor: Incumbent and Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Jason Miyares.

As part of CBS19's Know Your Ballot series, we asked Miyares what his top priorities would be if he were to be elected to the position. 

"He's been trained as a politician and I've been trained as a prosecutor," said Miyares.

Miyares, a current member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 82nd District, says his time serving as a prosecutor in Virginia Beach is the reason he decided to run for attorney general.

"It gave me a great appreciation for the voices of the victims, because there are two things a victim is always desperate for," he said. "One, they're obviously desperate for justice, but two, they're always almost paranoid they're going to be forgotten."

If elected, Miyares says he wants to abolish parole for certain violent criminals.

"It just shows right now you can't trust politicians in place," he said. "I mean, violent offenders are getting out by this current parole board. You have individuals, cop killers, murderers and rapists, they're getting out with decades off their sentence, and sometimes they're committing more crimes."

Miyares says several policies out of Richmond have a criminal-first, victim-last mindset, and it's encouraging more crime.

"The murder rate in Virginia right now is the highest it's been in over two decades, and in my opinion, you have a lot of policies that maybe are well intentioned, but they have had very unintended consequences," he said.

He says law enforcement agencies need support now more than ever.

"For me to go to work in the morning, I have to put on a coat and tie. For an officer to go to work in the morning, they had to put on a bulletproof vest," said Miyares. "Police officers are trying to do their job under very stressful circumstances. Obviously the bad cops, we've got to get rid of them, if need be prosecute them, and hold them accountable."

 

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