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With profound appreciation-

Having reached the one month anniversary of the death of our husband, father and grandfather, Senator John Miller, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of respect that our community has shown us during this extremely difficult time. The inclusion of the Newport News Police Department, the Newport News Fire Department, the Newport News Sheriff’s Department and the Virginia Capitol Police during the visitation, celebration of life and interment served as a reminder and recognition of the importance that Senator Miller placed on public safety throughout his tenure in the Virginia Senate. Our thanks also to the many hundreds of friends and constituents who waited patiently to express condolences or to share with us individual stories of their interaction with both John and his district office staff as he worked to help solve their state government related issues. The weekly contact he maintained with citizens of the 1st District and beyond to keep them informed, not only of his legislation, but of all bills being considered during session was unparalleled. It is our hope that his successor will continue in the tradition of being a voice for all, a listener before a speaker and feel, as John did, that it is an incredible honor, privilege and responsibility to serve.     

Regardless of the challenge he may have encountered on any given day, he rose with a smile on his face and embraced the opportunity to make a difference. It’s that smile and wonderfully kind spirit that we miss the most but know that both live on through his family and in the thousands of lives that he touched.

In closing, we share with you a message that Senator Miller received years ago from a colleague and close friend and one that he always kept close at hand.

“This is my wish for you:  Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendship to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life.”  Anonymous

It is our sincere belief that John was blessed with all of these things during his too short but exemplary life and it is our wish for all of you who were fortunate enough to have known him.


With our deepest and sincere gratitude,

Sharron Kitchen Miller and the family of Senator John Miller


Senator John Miller has been endorsed by:









Latest News


The Virginian-Pilot
© September 18, 2015

ATTORNEY GENERAL Mark Herring is reorganizing his office's Consumer Protection division to bolster its focus on predatory lending. The move, long overdue and desperately needed, is part of a broader effort to protect Virginians from usurious businesses flourishing across the commonwealth with state lawmakers' support.

Herring, who recently announced plans to seek re-election in 2017, increasingly appears willing to use his office to fill a void created by a legislature that has abdicated its duty to protect the public from unseemly businesses.

Instead, lawmakers have permitted the consumer credit and payday lending industry to wreak financial havoc on lower-income Virginians, with stores dotting the landscape with big promises of easy cash.

The short-term lenders have spread more than $2 million to Republicans and Democrats since 2010; in the same period, proposals to rein in the industry's pernicious effects have repeatedly been shot down by lawmakers apathetic to victims' plight.

In fact, in 2011, lawmakers - including Herring, then a state senator - approved legislation that actually worsened the situation, increasing the number of people who could be lured and ruined by lenders charging more than 200 percent in annual interest by permitting nonresidents of Virginia to take out loans.

But since his election in 2013, Herring has signaled a greater interest in rolling back Virginia’s status as the East Coast’s predatory-lending capital. Herring has partnered with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to raise awareness of the perils of payday, car-title and other short-term loan operations. His office has taken legal action against two Fredericksburg-area pawn shops suspected of making illegal payday loans, and this year referred 12 complaints against payday and car-title lenders to the State Corporation Commission.     

State data show four out of five consumers who take out a short-term loan end up taking a second one to repay the first. That kind of business practice, in which 80 percent of customers are sucked into a recurring cycle of debt, is nothing short of predatory, and it's why Herring, the CFPB and so many other authorities have warned the public not to be tempted by these lenders' offers.

Consumers would do better to negotiate with their debtors, or try to borrow from friends or family, rather than risk losing thousands of dollars or more through Virginia's vast network of private, short-term lenders.

Unfortunately, Virginia's laws and regulatory structure create an environment primed for loan sharks to tempt unsuspecting, cash-strapped customers and then squeeze them for thousands of dollars. As Herring and others have noted, some customers end up paying far more in interest than they ever owed in principal yet still end up losing their car for missing a payment.

Hampton Roads' Sens. John Miller and Mamie Locke have championed measures to eliminate loan fees and cap interest rates at 36 percent. That would still provide a way for short-term lenders to exist without exploiting the poor.

Until more lawmakers are willing to stand up for the public, rather than cowing to predators out to preserve their own financial strength, consumers in Virginia - and visitors from other states - will have little support beyond the limited help Herring can give.