Richmond Times-Dispatch election coverage:

From Richmond Times-Dispatch: Law enforcement gets attention in Caroline:

Law and order are generating a lot of talk on the campaign trail in Caroline County.

Two candidates hope to unseat Sheriff A.A. “Tony” Lippa Jr. on Tuesday, while Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Latney Jr. faces his first opponent in nearly 30 years.

In the sheriff’s race, Homer G. Johnson wants to reclaim the position he lost to Lippa four years ago. Johnson, running as a Democrat, was sheriff for 12 years. Also in the race is Jack E. Braxton Jr., a career law-enforcement officer who, like Lippa, is running as an independent.

Johnson, who started his career as a Caroline deputy in 1971, said that if elected again, he would focus his efforts more on criminal investigations than traffic enforcement.

“The sheriff’s office needs to be more than just a traffic commission,” he said.

Then why did your platform summary in 2003 include the following: “to expand traffic control programs”?

Johnson also said he wants to get ahead of illegal immigration in the county before it becomes a problem, and that deputies should be county residents.

And you’ll tell your deputies they better stop their schooling!

Lippa, a longtime Caroline resident who was a Henrico County police officer before serving 24 years with Virginia State Police, says he has markedly increased the professionalism of the department. He cites his efforts to win accreditation and certification for the department, as well as starting programs such as Project Livesaver, which helps the department track memory-impaired individuals who might wander from home.

Lippa takes issue with Johnson’s contention that crime has increased in Caroline during the past four years. Lippa says deputies in his administration have arrested more people than did deputies under Johnson.

“Our men and women have gone out and been proactive,” Lippa said.

Braxton, who served with the Washington police and U.S. Marshals Service, said he wants to seek funding to increase hiring, buy equipment and improve training.

Braxton, who moved back to Caroline in 2006, also wants to start a Crime Solvers reward fund — he has pledged $10,000 from his salary if elected — and says he would form a community advisory commission and meet with it regularly.

Lippa says he already has civilian and business advisory teams, to which Braxton replies, “If he does, he must be keeping it a good secret.”

How the hell would you know? You only moved back to the county in 2006! And you still stay in Maryland half the time!

. . .

In the race for commonwealth’s attorney, challenger Anthony G. “Tony” Spencer pledges to be a full-time prosecutor. A former deputy prosecutor in Richmond, he accuses Latney, who holds the position on a part-time basis, of agreeing to dismiss or reduce too many cases.

Spencer, who grew up in Caroline and recently moved back to the county, also notes that several defense attorneys, some of whom oppose Latney in court, have contributed to Latney’s re-election campaign.

“Follow the money, you’ll see” who wants whom to be elected, said Spencer, who is running as an independent.

Latney, a Democrat, says the charges are without merit. He says Spencer does not know the reasons behind case dismissals. And Latney says he is able to handle Caroline’s criminal docket while he maintains his private law practice in Richmond.

How’s that Virginia State Bar investigation going? How about that lawsuit against you from the family of Florence Williams?

As for defense attorneys contributing to his campaign, Latney says, “My friends are people in the legal profession. They have contributed to me because they believe I do a good job for the community. That’s all it is. Period.”

“And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their [Commonwealth’s Attorney]’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” -Paraphrase of Richard Nixon.

Famous last words…

. . .

The election also features a contest for Circuit Court clerk between Republican incumbent Ray S. Campbell Jr., who says he would like to improve technology use by electronically recording deeds and scanning case files, and General District Court Clerk Terry Southworth, an independent who says she would like to improve customer service and organization of the Circuit Court clerk’s office.

Figured out how to comply with state law about the issuing of concealed handgun permits yet Ray?

In contests for the Board of Supervisors, recruiting businesses and keeping watch over residential growth are big issues, and two challengers are trying again to unseat incumbents to whom they lost in 2003.

John C. Green, a paramedic, is again taking on Wayne A. Acors, who has held the Madison District seat for 20 years. Republican Bobby J. Popowicz Jr., a bank loan officer, is again trying to unseat Calvin B. Taylor Sr., the Port Royal District supervisor since 1992.

Three candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by longtime Bowling Green District Supervisor Robert W. Farmer. Republican Jeff Sili, who has served on the School Board, will try again — he lost a bid in 2003. He faces George L. Spaulding Jr., a longtime School Board member, coach and educator, as well as Damon L. Gray Sr., a building contractor.

Democrat Floyd W. Thomas, who has held the Mattaponi District seat since 1992, faces challenger William O. “Bill” Pickett, operations manager at a local lumber company. Current Chairman David M. “Maxie” Rozell Jr. is unopposed in the Reedy Church District.

Yes, I know, it’s unfortunate, isn’t it?

Two of five School Board seats are challenged: Kerry L. Bischoff faces Tamara Lyn “Tami” Redding for the open Bowling Green District seat, while Chairman William A. “Bill” Anderson faces challenger Bruce J. Levy.

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