In the Hook‘s profile of commonwealth’s attorney Jim Camblos, he eventually realized he couldn’t defend himself. By the time Lisa Provence asked him why he didn’t bring charges in the death of the Deane family on 29N, he flat out refused to discuss it. Based on last night’s candidate forum, it looks like Camblos has discovered what the rest of us know: his record is indefensible. As Rob Seal writes in today’s Daily Progress, Camblos refused to stand on his record when challenged on it. Democratic challenger Denise Lunsford pledged to restore the good name of the office, citing Camblos’ habitual bungling of serious cases, setting criminals free. Camblos simply wouldn’t respond, providing only the non sequitur that he’d “stay positive,” thus declaring that even he thinks his record is a negative.
Sheriff candidates Chip Harding (the Republican) and Larry Claytor (the Democrat) seem to have had a more informative exchange at the event. Claytor is campaigning on simply doing what the sheriff’s office is tasked to do and doing it well — transporting prisoners, serving people papers and securing the courtroom — while Harding is campaigning on expanding the office’s mission, creating a new system in which deputies would track down online sexual predators. Ironically, this places both of them in the opposite camps that would traditionally be expected for the two parties, with Harding seeking to expand government and Claytor seeking to hold the line. Presumably Harding’s time in the Charlottesville Police and the Claytor’s pedigree as an Albemarle Republican has something to do with that.