WhO’s Running in 2019?
In 2019, voters in at least Virginia six cities and counties—including the four largest jurisdictions in Northern Virginia—will decide who will shape the future of their local criminal justice systems for years to come. We’ve done the work to provide you information about the races and candidates, including “C.A. Report Cards” from local advocates.
Election Updates from the CADV Blog
Although Arlington and Falls Church pride themselves on progressive values, those values aren’t always evident in the local justice system, where racial disparities are truly striking, and felony prosecution is aggressive. Incumbent Theo Stamos (D) is challenged by reform candidate Parisa Tafti (D).
A mostly-rural county surrounding a world-class university town, Albemarle’s criminal courts are a time capsule of old Virginia justice. Challenger Jim Hingeley (D), formerly Chief Public Defender for Albemarle and Charlottesville, is running as a reform candidate against incumbent Robert Tracci (R).
With the largest court system in Virginia, Fairfax County boasts a diverse, sophisticated legal community. Steve Descano (D) challenges incumbent CA Ray Morrogh (D), with promises to end cash bail, promote racial justice, and eliminate “tough on crime” policies such as capital punishment and aggressive drug interdiction.
Chesterfield County is one of the largest court systems in Virginia not served by a public defender’s office. It’s lack of a committed indigent defense bar is borne out in its punitive approach to criminal cases. Reform candidate Scott Miles (D), who won a special election in 2018, runs again in 2019 as an incumbent.
Loudoun remains the fastest growing county in Virginia. As its population has changed so have its values. Jim Plowman (R), who boasted of increasing felony prosecutions and eliminating favorable plea deals, is stepping down to accept a judgeship. Candidates to replace him include defense attorney Buta Biberaj (D) and Deputy CA Nicole Wittman (R).
Prince William County
Under the direction of retiring C.A. Paul Ebert, Prince William became one of the 2% of jurisdictions in America responsible for a majority of executions since 1977. Candidates for the vacancy include local defense attorney Tracey Lenox (D), Amy Ashworth (D), an 11-year veteran of Ebert’s office, and Republican Mike May, a former county supervisor.