One of the refreshing things about local elections is how little they have to do with national politics. When folks in Albemarle County go to the polls in November to pick a new commonwealth’s attorney, we don’t need to consider global warming or the war in Syria. All we need to think about is who can do the job best.
We can put policy issues to one side and simply ask which candidate has demonstrated ability in the courtroom. We don’t necessarily need to assess whether it’s good or bad that incumbent Robert Tracci advised that terminating the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail’s practice of notifying Immigration and Customs officials when certain “unlawful” immigrants were released “would frustrate federal efforts,” or that he pushed his way into a jail board discussion on this issue.
We don’t even need to ask if Tracci could have aggressively prosecuted more neo-Nazis bearing torches, as some legal experts say, yet chose to aggressively prosecute local parents lobbying their school board.
The simple fact is that while Jim Hingeley is an experienced courtroom lawyer, Robert Tracci has shown that he lacks basic competence. After spending nearly seven months planning a prosecution of Jason Kessler for perjury, Tracci lost the case by simple carelessness when he neglected to show the events happened in Albemarle County. Even worse, Tracci has learned nothing from this failure and refuses to take responsibility for the mistake.
For once, an issue in politics is crystal clear. Jim Hingeley can do the job as commonwealth’s attorney. Robert Tracci has shown us that he can’t.