One day after Ken Cuccinelli confirmed his bid for Governor in 2013, his former Virginia Senate colleague and friend Mark Obenshain has announced his intent to run for Attorney General. I can’t say enough about Senator Obenshain, he has been in Loudoun supporting many candidates this past election cycle and is one of the few politicians I classify as a Statesman. Below is his announcement:

“I’m sure you’ve read by now that Ken Cuccinelli intends to seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2013. Ken is a principled and effective Attorney General, earning the admiration of friends and foes alike, and he sets a high standard for others to follow.

Virginia will need continued conservative leadership in that office, and that is why I am exploring a bid for Attorney General in 2013.

I am committed to limited government, low taxes and individual liberty. As an attorney, and state senator, I have dedicated my professional life to the cause of justice, and of defending the liberties that make this nation and this Commonwealth so great. As a husband and a father, I have been blessed to experience the joys, values and importance of family.

For the past year, my wife Suzanne and I have been traveling the Commonwealth exploring support for a statewide bid, and I have been encouraged by the response we have received. As the 2013 picture begins to come into focus, I will be exploring a bid for Attorney General more actively, and I welcome your input in this process.

As a state senator, I have taken the lead on issues like school choice, eminent domain reform, voter identification, procurement reform, triggerman rule repeal, and the defense of family values. I have worked to keep our communities safe by securing passage of measures that cracked down on illegal gambling in so-called “sweepstakes cafes” rewrote Virginia’s methamphetamine laws, wrote tough new laws on domestic violence, and helped to defend our children from online predators.

For my work in the General Assembly, I have been honored as Legislator of the Year by the Family Foundation of Virginia, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, and the Eagle Forum, and received the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys “Champion of Justice Award.” I have an A+ rating from the NRA and was one of only six senators to receive the American Conservative Union’s “Defender of Liberty” award here in Virginia. I’ve received these honors by holding fast to common sense conservative principles of limited government and personal responsibility – principles on which I’ll never waver.

Back in 1978, after the death of my father, Dick Obenshain, my mother found in his desk a well worn piece of paper upon which he had written the following: “The most important goal in my life is to have some significant impact in preserving and expanding the realm of personal freedom in the life of this country.”

To me, those are more than just words. They are a vision – and a calling. As a state senator, I have sought to carry that torch, and with a new Republican majority in the Senate, I am enthusiastic about what we can accomplish there together in the future. But for me, there may be a different course – and I can’t go it alone. If I am to run for Attorney General, I will need your help, your support, your guidance and your prayers. I need to hear from you.

So email me, call me (540.437.1451), and, if you’re at the Advance this weekend, please stop by my hospitality suite (#1400) and say hello!

Best regards,

Mark”