Prominent attorney Matthew P. Geary, whose candidacy for Henrico County's chief prosecutor rattled the establishment but ended in defeat two months ago, was found dead Sunday of what police said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A three-way race for Henrico County commonwealth's attorney defies tradition and could reveal new political fault lines in a locality accustomed to predictable electoral outcomes that begin with "R."
Left behind by a mobilized, wealthy Republican Party that has turned to an independent, Republican Matthew P. Geary, 41, and Democrat Shannon Taylor, 43, hope their alarms over alleged campaign deceits can overcome a longtime Republican legislator willing to abandon his past political label to seize an unfamiliar line of work.
Apparent front-runner Bill Janis was targeted Wednesday in another round of accusations raised by his opposition in the race for Henrico County commonwealth's attorney.
Democrat Shannon Taylor filed a complaint with the State Bar arguing that Janis' "disregard (of) a federal judge's opinion" in campaign material "reflects negatively on Janis' fitness to practice law."
A former political opponent of Bill Janis says he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice over Janis' use of the word "Republican" in campaign literature and over pictures of Janis accompanied by Henrico County deputy sheriffs.
One candidate has pulled away from the rest when it comes to cash on hand in the last lap of the Henrico County commonwealth's attorney race.
Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, who is giving up his delegate's seat to run as an independent, reported a campaign balance of $118,763 as of Oct. 26, a total fattened in part by a $25,000 donation from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th.
On a balmy Saturday morning a week ago, the three candidates for Henrico County prosecutor awakened to another day of politicking in a place where local election outcomes tend to be nearly as certain as the sunrise for Republicans.
This fall, that couldn't be further from the truth.
A debate scheduled for tonight among three candidates for Henrico County commonwealth's attorney may end up being a monologue.
Republican candidate Matthew Geary is the only candidate likely to show up for the debate, whose unusual format includes five questions that already have been submitted to the candidates to ponder.
Henrico County's political allegiances are muddled enough that independent candidate Bill Janis is calling himself a Republican in campaign literature mailed out this week to voters.
Janis is giving up his long-held Republican Party label to run as an independent for commonwealth's attorney after the actual Republican candidate, Matthew P. Geary, lost the support of the county party leadership and a number of high-profile statewide figures, including the attorney general and the lieutenant governor.
Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, abandoning his General Assembly seat to make a run as an independent for a prosecutor's job in his home county, is getting an infusion of contributions from longtime Republicans and his own, now-ended re-election campaign for the House of Delegates.
In another unusual shift Friday in a usually sedentary race for Henrico commonwealth's attorney, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced his support for Janis in the wake of campaign finance reports showing that the congressional leader from Henrico has put $10,000 toward Janis' candidacy.
Del. Bill Janis, the Republican whip in the House of Delegates, officially announced at a news conference Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in November.
Instead, Janis will run as an independent for Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney, taking on the embattled Republican candidate Matthew Geary, who party leaders abandoned after he admitted to an extramarital affair.
“The person who sits in the chair of the commonwealth’s attorney must be serious,’’ Janis said. “He must be trustworthy. There can be absolutely no question about his integrity. Or his character. Or his sound judgment.”