Deputy Craig Seeks Sheriff’s Office

Albemarle County Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Craig is running for the Democratic nomination for sheriff, the Daily Progress reports. He’ll be challenging Albemarle County police investigator Larry Claytor for the nomination; Claytor announced his campaign a couple of weeks ago. Charlottesville police captain Chip Harding is seeking the Republican nomination.

I’m told that Sheriff Edgar Robb, who is retiring, was backing Harding as his replacement, but that he also encouraged Craig to get into the race. That would explain Robb’s refusal to endorse anybody just yet, but it seems like an odd thing to do.

Craig’s candidacy is a bit of a puzzle — I just mapped his address in Google Earth, and he lives half a mile from the Albemarle border, in Orange County, just down the road from me, which would make him ineligible to serve in an Albemarle office. He started working with the Charlottesville Police Department in 1987, and he’s been with the Sheriff’s Office for 16 years, so I’m certainly not questioning the man’s commitment to law enforcement in Albemarle. Maybe he moved recently?

02/28 Update: Rob Seal writes in today’s Progress that Craig does live in Orange, but he and his wife own a house in Albemarle that they’ll move into in May in order to satisfy the residency requirement. That would certainly seem to settle things.

12 thoughts on “Deputy Craig Seeks Sheriff’s Office”

  1. I always feel stupid offering disclaimers, but I’ll go ahead and do it here, anyhow, so that nobody can say I didn’t offer fair warning.

    I have advised both Larry Claytor and Chip Harding on campaign strategy. Both were members of the Sorensen Institute Campaign Training Program, Larry in this year’s class and Chip in last year’s class. I spoke to each class for about an hour about when and how to use the internet as a part of a campaign strategy. At Larry’s request, I followed up my in-class discussion with him with a further conversation a few weeks later, something that I’ve offered to any Sorensen CTP graduate who has expressed interest in continuing the discussion.

    God help me if all of the people run for Council that I hear are thinking about it. I know every one of these people, some well, for many years. I’ll be disclaiming left and right.

  2. I’m somewhat ignorant on the rules for running for office, is it a law/statue requirement that you live in the county that you are running for office? Or just a much better campaign strategy? Maybe he can’t afford to live in Albemarle until he wins the Sheriff’s Office?

  3. I don’t know for a fact that constitutional officers have to live in the district that they serve, but I do know that those who hold state offices (house of delegates and state senate) must live in the district that they represent, that board of supervisors members have to live in their district, and that city councilors have to live in their city (and, if applicable, ward).

    It’s a requirement that I don’t particularly understand. It’s even stranger for Congress. So many congressmen have to functionally live in Washington in order to do their job, yet they’re obliged to maintain a faux residence in their home state.

    If Albemarle wants to elect as its sheriff somebody who lives 2500 feet outside of the county line, I figure that’s our business. If we want to elect somebody to represent us in the House of Representatives who lives in California, I don’t see why we couldn’t do that. (I also can’t see why we would, but that’s a different discussion entirely.) That’s how it’s done with the UK’s parliament, and it works just fine.

  4. §15.2-1525. Where officers shall reside

    Every county officer shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided thirty days next preceding his election or appointment, either in the county for which he is elected or appointed, or in the city wherein the courthouse of the county is or in a city wholly within the boundaries of such county.

    Interestingly, an exception is made for commonwealth’s attorney. If there is no attorney qualified to run for office in a given jurisdiction (the odds of which seem fantastically slim) than a nonresident may be elected.

  5. I for one want elected officials to reside within the jurisdition which they serve. After all if local taxpayer money is paying their salaries they should live and pay taxes just like the rest of the citizens within a jurisdition. Also, I question why Mr. Craig put down an address other than the address at which he lives. Is Mr. Craig afraid to let county taxpayers know that he has a horse ranch and rental property. Not bad for just a plain old county Sheriff’s deputy.

  6. The residency requirement is a good thing and should be extended. Candidates for an elected office should be required to reside in the jurisdiction they want to represent for a minimum of one year. If they want to represent the people living within a certain geographical area then they should share all the advantages, disadvantages, challenges and benefits of living there.

    I believe that most people would share this view and that many, like myself would be confounded by the idea that someone from thousands of miles away should or could represent us and protect our interests. I would never vote for a candidate for City Council for example, who lives in Albemarle County.

  7. To choose an extreme example, I think that elected officials should be Democrats, but I don’t think that should be codified in the law. I figure if you don’t want a sheriff who lives in Orange, you shouldn’t vote for him. When it comes to constitutional officers, in particular, I want the person who can do the best job. If that person lives 700 yards from the county border, I certainly don’t care.

    All of that said, I don’t expect to vote for Mr. Craig, making all of this a pointless hypothetical exercise. :)

  8. Charlotte Humphris, may she rest in peace, pointed out to me that the analogies used in debate are almost always over simplifications and inaccurate. I disagreed with Mrs. Humphris about a lot of things but she was right about analogies.

    There is a huge difference between party membership and citizenship/residency. Requiring residency is so different from requiring party membership that the example is not relevant .

    Even if a person lives just over the line in an adjoining district they still pay taxes in a jurisdiction other than the one they want to govern. I want their decisions tempered by the same pressures and pleasures that their constituents feel as residents of the same jurisidction.

    Waldo would you like to get elected to Charlottesville’s City Council while you live in Albemarle?

  9. Even if a person lives just over the line in an adjoining district they still pay taxes in a jurisdiction other than the one they want to govern. I want their decisions tempered by the same pressures and pleasures that their constituents feel as residents of the same jurisidction.

    And that strikes me as an altogether rational reason to vote against the person, but not necessarily a reason to exclude them from running. I think that somebody should have an IQ above, say, 40 in order to hold an office. But I don’t propose an IQ test — I think we can determine for ourselves whether somebody is intelligent enough for the gig.

    Waldo would you like to get elected to Charlottesville’s City Council while you live in Albemarle?

    I wouldn’t like to get elected to City Council period.

  10. This is specifically addressed to John Falwell. The last time I checked everyone was allowed to make investments for their “golden years”. Why do you have such a negative spin on the fact that Deputy Craig owns a house other than the one in which he lives? He has been a deputy for many years, his children are grown and he is simply investing in his future. Why do you have to be so negative about that fact?

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