Democrat to Challenge Camblos

A Democrat will be challenging Republican Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos in this year’s election, Liesel Nowak reports for the Daily Progress. Denise Lunsford has not yet filed her paperwork or formally announced that she’s running, but says that she plans on doing so. She is an attorney, of course, in private practice working in criminal defense. Albemarle County Democratic chairman Fred Hudson says that Lunsford is the only Democrat to express interest in running for the seat thus far. Likewise, Camblos is the only candidate on the Republican side.

I wouldn’t dare describe this race as a cakewalk, but Camblos isn’t what you might call a popular guy. He’s isn’t a particularly nice guy, often appearing to barely control his temper, and voters tend not to appreciate that sort of behavior towards a female opponent. That will be a tough line for him to walk, and this will be quite a race to watch.

Interestingly, on the heels of last week’s residency discussion, Lunsford lives in Charlottesville but is seeking an Albemarle office. Commonwealth’s attorney is the only position in Virginia for which it’s permissible to run in another district, under §15.2-1525. It’s my reading of the law that nonresidents only qualify “if no practicing lawyer who has resided in the county…for the period aforesaid offers for election” but, then, I’m no attorney.

12 Responses to “Democrat to Challenge Camblos”


  • Is that “offers for election” in the general election or just the primary? Because one way to read that would be that if Camblos is running, she is ineligible.

  • Waldo, you have misread Virginia Code §15.2-1525 regarding residency requirements for Commonwealth’s Attorney. Because the City of Charlottesville is completely surrounded by the County of Albemarle, and because the Albemarle County courts are located in the City of Charlottesville, the Code provides for either city of county lawyers to be eligible for office of Commonwealth’s Attorney. Denise Lunsford is therefore eligible to be Commonwealth Attorney whether she is a resident of the city or county. This was the same basis for why the present incumbent was elected Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney although he was a city resident at the time.

    In other news….
    http://www.democraticcentral.com/frontPage.do

  • That’s unusually sensible for state law. And, really, one more sign that Charlottesville should revert to town status. But that’s a different discussion. :)

  • The election results that were posted a few months ago back up the thought that this one won’t be a cake walk for Camblos.

  • How does one go about contributing to her campaign? I think this is great news for the county and it’s democratic process. Mr. Camblos ran unopposed last time around. That’s not a good thing. As I understand it, he first gained the office 16 years ago with his prime qualification being that his father had been Commonwealth Attorney. I think 16 years in such a position accrues an unhealthy level of influence, whether it is sought or not. Seems like time for a change, regardless of partisan politics.

  • How does one go about contributing to her campaign?

    At this point, I suspect it’s not possible — since she hasn’t actually filed any paperwork yet, there’s no campaign committee to write the check to.

    Mr. Camblos ran unopposed last time around. That’s not a good thing.

    You’re absolutely right. That’s never a good thing. Jim Camblos should be challenged just as Del. David Toscano and Sen. Creigh Deeds should be. It’s the responsibility of the political parties to find somebody to run, even if it’s a token candidate against a well-entrenched incumbent.

  • I have been around and seen Denise Lunsford defend cases since she first began practicing in the early 90’s. With that said, I am so excited to see someone of her caliber step forward to challenge Camblos in the next election. I am a life long resident of Albemarle County and I have never voted for a democratic candidate in the 21 years that I have been eligible to vote, and I vote at every primary and election, but I will do so in support of Lunsford and in the hopes of unseating someone that is, to say it nicely, has performed pitifully in office and may have arrived at the end of his dad’s coat tails. It is scary to live in a county in which you have no confidence in the chief law enforcement officer. We should all be excited to support Lunsford in her attempt to unseat Camblos!

  • I totally agree with buds, Denise is as smart as they come and an excellent attorney. She is not smug or arrogant like her opponent. If you see her in court all of the people who are about to stand trial say “damn, I wish she was my lawyer” and all the cops say “damn, I am glad she is not on my case.”

    I have found myself walking away from conversations with her saying to myself, “well, I certainly was not the smartest person in that conversation.” She would do an excellent job for the county residents, only questions is, are they smart enough to give her a chance?

    PS watch for another entry on the Dem side.

  • Yeah, her opposition for the primary could be very, very stiff if a certain attorney with some high-profile connections does firm up his plan to run.

    I wonder if Camblos will even bother running once it becomes clear that he’s facing a serious challange? He must know that he’s easily the most widely despised person in Albemarle County.

  • He must know that he’s easily the most widely despised person in Albemarle County.

    I have never gotten the sense that he cares. At all.

  • How does one go about contributing to her campaign?

    At this point, I suspect it’s not possible — since she hasn’t actually filed any paperwork yet, there’s no campaign committee to write the check to.

    Denise Lunsford just announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney. If you are still interested in knowing how to contribute financially to her campaign, I’ve learned that you can mail a check to 708 St. Charles Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

  • It is never a good sign to mail checks to a city address for a county canidate; that being said this could be a heck of a race.

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