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Miyares picks ex-McConnell counsel as solicitor general

December 8, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The former chief counsel to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been selected to serve as Virginia’s next solicitor general.

GOP Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares announced Andrew Ferguson’s appointment Wednesday in the first major hiring announcement of his new administration.

The solicitor general represents the Commonwealth in major cases, including before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Ferguson, a native Virginian, served as chief counsel to McConnell from 2019 until 2021, according to a news release from Miyares’ office. In that role, Ferguson was McConnell’s judicial confirmation strategist, including on the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

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Ferguson also previously served as senior special counsel to then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and as chief counsel for nominations and the constitution to then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

According to the news release, Ferguson earned both undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a federal circuit court judge, and practiced at several Washington law firms.

“I am excited for this opportunity to serve my beloved home state, protect Virginians’ constitutional rights, and defend the rule of law in the Commonwealth,” Ferguson said in a statement.

Miyares defeated two-term incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring in last month’s elections, which also saw the GOP take control of the governor and lieutenant governor’s offices and flip control of the state House.

Miyares will be sworn in along with Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin and Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears in January.

Ferguson will take over the office from Michelle Kallen, who stepped into the role in August.