Janis to run for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney
NBC12 has confirmed through several credible sources that Del. Bill Janis (R-Henrico) will run for Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney. Janis’ entry into the race comes in the wake of the county GOP establishment withdrawing their support from their original choice, former Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Geary.
Janis is a popular and powerful member of the House of Delegates and scion of the Henrico GOP machine, created by former Congressman Tom Bliley and carried on through current Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader.
Janis holds Cantor’s old seat in the House of Delegates and (Cantor’s old seat in the 73rd district is now held by Del. John O’Bannon. Cantor currently lives in Janis’ 56th district which has changed over time through redistricting.) Janis is widely considered to have ambition beyond the statehouse.
Janis is expected to formally jump in the race within the next few days, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. The question remains if he will run as an Independent, which could force him to leave the Republican Party, or if his entry will convince Geary to pull out of the race.
Yesterday on NBC12 First at 4, Geary told me that regardless of who decides to run, that he will continue his campaign.
Janis will now be forced to forgo a run for re-election to his seat in the House of Delegates. That will cause republicans to scramble to pick his replacement. I am told several names are already being considered.
Stay tuned.. we will update when we learn more.
*Bearing Drift has a look at what happens next in the wake of Janis leaving the House of Delegates.
*Janis has officially filed a “certificate for candidate qualifications” through the Henrico County Board of Elections. He still must submit petitions in order to get access to the ballot. Those are due by August 23rd.
*Matt Geary released the following statement in reaction to Janis’ entry into the race:
HENRICO – Matt Geary, Republican Nominee for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney issued the following statement today:
“I am disappointed that Republican Delegate Bill Janis has decided to circumvent our own party process to run as an Independent. He is violating the Republican Party pledge that states that members must support all Republican Nominees. All Republicans interested in running for the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney were required to file a statement of candidacy with the Henrico County Republican Chairman no later than 5pm on Monday, May 9, 2011 and pay a $500 filing fee. I did that. Effective July 1, 2011, I became the Republican Nominee for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney. Delegate Bill Janis missed the filing deadline. Hopefully he will reconsider. But if not, let the Henrico citizens decide on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 who is most qualified and experienced.
As the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney of the City of Richmond, I managed the day to day operations of the second largest commonwealth attorney’s office in Virginia. That office consisted of 41 prosecutors, and approximately 50 staff members and victim witness advocates. Additionally, I helped manage a budget of approximately 5 million dollars and oversaw human resources training, grant applications and managed all intra-agency relations with local, state and federal law enforcement partners.
For three years, I served as special counsel to the Courts of Justice Committee for the Virginia House of Delegates. I am also honored to serve on the boards for the Richmond Police Foundation, the Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, the Commonwealth Public Safety Medal of Valor Review Board, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Asset Forfeiture. I have served as the President of the Richmond Criminal Bar Association, the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar, Criminal Section, and Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. It would be an honor and a privilege to put this experience to use for the citizens of Henrico.” ###