This week’s special Democratic primary could produce Richmond’s next top prosecutor

Richmond

Winner could cruise to victory in November

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Democratic Committee announced plans to hold a firehouse primary, also known as an unassembled caucus, to nominate the 2019 Democratic candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney in the City of Richmond.

Voters have two chances — this Thursday and Saturday — to cast their ballots during the special election.

People can vote at Southside Community Services Center, at 4100 Hull Street Road, and Main Branch Richmond Public Library, at 101 E. Franklin Street, on Aug. 8 and Aug. 10. Voting is open from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The primary comes after Michael Herring, Richmond’s commonwealth’s attorney since 2006, announced he was resigning in May to take a position at the McGuireWoods law firm.

The Democratic candidates hoping to fill his seat are Colette McEachin and Alex Taylor. Both spoke with 8News on Thursday about what matters to them ahead of the primary.

“I’m as concerned about preventing crime and assisting our youth as I am prosecuting crime,” Taylor, an attorney and retired Army colonel, said.

McEachin is an attorney who has worked in the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for 25 years. She said that Richmond’s top prosecutor should focus on citizens and justice.

“That works for all the citizens of Richmond and that citizens of Richmond can trust to bring them justice in court,” McEachin told 8News.

McEachin is currently serving as interim commonwealth’s attorney. As part of her campaign, McEachin says she wants to continue the work she’s already started.

“Continuing criminal justice reform efforts, providing alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases and being engaged with the community at all levels of the community,” McEachin said.

One way McEachin says she wants to reform criminal justice in Richmond is by removing cash bails in appropriate cases.

Meanwhile Taylor, who is the Senior Army Instructor at Huguenot High School, said he wants to focus on the young people of Richmond.

“Not just fighting the battles in court,” he explained, “but outside of the court through mentoring programs, debate teams, and other programs to help our youth and prevent crime before it ever happens.”

Both candidates tell 8News they want to increase diversity in the Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney in Richmond.

A victory in this week’s firehouse primary could easily parlay into a victory on election day in November. With the deadline to file looming (next Tuesday, August 16), the Republican Party has yet to field a candidate, meaning this week’s primary winner would head into the November general election unopposed.

Voters with photo ID can take part in the party-run firehouse primary on either day.

The committee has offered a ride to those who can’t make it on their own. There will also be interpreters on-site to assist Spanish-speaking voters. CLICK HERE for more information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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