Last week, I argued that Theo Stamos, a Democrat, is worth supporting in her primary contest for Commonwealth attorney in Arlington County, Virginia. Why? Because she’s an experienced and reasonably sensible prosecutor, and her opponent is a leftist who is backed by George Soros and Terry McAuliffe, and whose campaign has relied in part on weak claims of police brutality.
The race for Commonwealth Attorney in Fairfax County presents a similar situation. Veteran prosecutor Raymond Morrogh is being challenged from the left by Steve Descano. Descano too has the support of Soros and McAuliffe. Soros has kicked in more than $50,000 of in-kind contributions to the Descano campaign.
Descano has, in the words of the Washington Post, “staked out positions to the left of the incumbent on a range of issues.” He promises to end marijuana possession prosecutions, do away with cash bond, and forgo death penalty prosecutions. He’s also playing the race card, complaining that blacks are prosecuted in disproportionate numbers compared to whites.
My favorite fact about this election, though, is something Morrogh did during a 2005 trial. He sought to have a potential juror dismissed because his wife was on the Democratic National Committee. Morrogh, a deputy prosecutor at the time, told the judge that the Democratic Party’s policies on criminal justice are “left-handed.”
Naturally, Descano is making a big deal of this outburst of truthfulness — even more valid today than 14 years ago. Naturally, too, Morrogh is explaining his remark away. He notes that it was the policy of his boss at the time, the then-chief prosecutor, sometimes to reject jurors based on political affiliation. Morrogh says he has abandoned this policy.
Be that as it may, Morrogh is a serious and sensible prosecutor. His opponent lacks significant experience prosecuting the kind of cases the Commonwealth Attorney normally handles, and he isn’t likely to be tough across the board on crime. Otherwise, Soros and McAuliffe wouldn’t be backing him. They are counting on him to be hyper-lenient except, presumably, when police officers might be charged or when well-to-do defendants are in the dock. Descano’s rhetoric and his web page show he’s unlikely to let them down.
The primary will be held on June 11. It’s open, I understand, to voters of any party affiliation (or none). The primary is likely to decide who the Commonwealth’s attorney will be, inasmuch as the Democrat will be overwhelmingly favored to win the general election.
However, as with Stamos in Arlington County, voting for Morrogh won’t preclude one from voting for the Republican candidate in November. It will simply represent an attempt prevent a Soros-funded leftist from defeating a competent and fairly sensible prosecutor.