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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Archive for August 23rd, 2011

Democrats to field candidate in Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Race

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What a difference a few weeks can make.

It had a been a forgone conclusion since about the middle of 2009 that the next Commonwealth’s Attorney in Henrico would be a republican. In fact the party already had a candidate, almost two years before the election, Matt Geary. No one really paid any attention to the race for the county’s top prosecutor.

That was of course before the middle of August,  just three weeks before the candidates hoping to appear on the ballot needed to be accounted for.  Geary quickly fell out of favor with party leaders, Del. Bill Janis announced his plans to run as an independent and now on the last opportunity for candidates to file, the democrats have decided to get involved.

Today,  former Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon L. Taylor announced her intention to run for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney. Taylor is UVA undergrad, and University of Richmond School of Law alum.  She has worked for 12 years as a prosecutor, 8 of them in Richmond. She currently is a defense attorney with the local firm Boone and Beale. In addition to her time in the Richmond Commonwealths Attorney office, Taylor also worked as the Special Counsel for the Richmond Metropolitan Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury.

Taylor’s entry creates an interesting field in a race that is rarely, if ever, competitive. Despite the republican electoral dominance in Henrico, there is evidence that the county is more deep purple than scarlet red.  While the GOP has an incredibly effective local political machine that has led to easy wins in local elections, statewide and national votes are much different. Henrico tends to be much more of a bellweather county. While they followed the rest of the state in electing republican Governor Bob McDonnell, Henrico voters also overwhelming chose President Barack Obama and Senator Mark Warner, both democrats.

Could the GOP streak change now that this race is competitive and is getting far more media coverage than it ever has in the past?

In what has turned out to be an incredibly unpredictable campaign, anything is possible.

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