Even as he faces questions for settling an equal pay lawsuit earlier this year, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., lent her support to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's re-election bid last weekend.
Harris, a staunch supporter of "equal pay" who spoke at the Women's March in January and is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, stumped for the full Virginia Democratic ticket in Richmond on Sunday. The first-term California senator, one of her party's rising stars, took center stage after Herring spoke to "cast the election as a referendum on the presidency of Trump," as one local outlet described.
Harris' show of support for Herring came after Republicans last week raised questions about a lawsuit he settled with a former assistant attorney general. In the lawsuit, Ann Marie Reardon accused Herring of violating the Equal Pay Act by compensating her less than men in similar positions for years. After raising the matter with her superiors, Reardon was fired from the attorney general's office. Herring eventually settled with his former employee for an estimated $200,000. Though the matter has received little media attention, Reardon's suit was cited as an ostensible example of pay inequality in a Washington Post column back in February.
Last Thursday, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, slammed Herring for his treatment of Reardon in an article for the Roanoke Times. "Mark Herring’s actions should have everyone seriously questioning how much he will look out, and stand up, for women," Nance wrote. Herring's Republican opponent, John Adams, discussed the suit in an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt Show last week and both his campaign and the Republican Attorneys General Association have highlighted it in recent press releases.
Despite these allegations, Harris still showed up to support Herring on Sunday, where the RAGA sponsored a Snapchat geofilter that read: "Female staffer sues Herring over ≠ pay." That's not a good look for any politician, let alone a Democrat focused on fighting the so-called gender pay gap.
On Tuesday, Adams' campaign released a television advertisement drawing attention to Herring's settlement. "For years, Mark Herring paid a lawyer in his office less than her male counterparts. After she repeatedly raised it, he fired her. She sued and Herring had to pay her almost $200,000 taxpayer dollars," the spot says. "If this is how Mark Herring treats women on his own staff, does he deserve another term?"
Herring and Adams will battle it out at the polls in the nation's only attorney general race on Nov. 7.