McDonnell to get tour of Richmond jail from Sheriff Woody
Republican candidate for Governor, Bob McDonnell will spend part of Monday in Richmond getting a tour of the city jail from the city’s Democratic Sheriff C.T. Woody. Woody, is also up for re-election, but fended off a primary challenge in June and is running without opposition in November.
A spokesman for the Sheriff informed me that from Woody’s perspective, the McDonnell visit is not political. It is instead an opportunity for the candidate to see first hand the issues the institution is facing. According to Major Jerry Lucas Baldwin, Sheriff Woody has encouraged “all public officials, and anyone running for public office, to visit the Richmond City Jail so they can see first hand how non-violent crimes, mental health and homeless issues affect the overcrowding situation at all jails.”
Baldwin said that the jail has hosted 40 different public officials from a local and national level in the past 9 months. (In fact, his campaign web site shows a picture of him giving a tour of the jail to Sen. Jim Webb.) He also said that Senator Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Governor has been offered the same opportunity and he could be touring the facility as soon as next week. Deeds campaign officials have not returned my inquiry asking if the candidate plans to take up the Sheriff’s invitation.
While Woody, may not view the visit as political, it has been offered as such by the McDonnell campaign. The press has been invited to tag along for the tour and take advantage of the photo opportunity with the candidate and the Sheriff.
According to Baldwin though, the Sheriff has already made up his mind who he is supporting in November, sticking with his fellow Democrat, Deeds. “He announced his support of his party when he chose to run as a Democrat,” said Baldwin. “That said, he has a great relationship with both candidates and will continue to work well with whomever the people chooses next month.”