Robert Tracci launches Albemarle prosecutor campaign

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Robert Tracci 
Photo by Jen Fariello Robert Tracci Photo by Jen Fariello

Albemarle Republicans are giddy to have a candidate for commonwealth’s attorney, and several dozen of them, including Supervisor Ken Boyd and former supe Rodney Thomas, gathered in front of the Albemarle Circuit Court June 10 for Robert Tracci’s campaign kickoff.

“Have you seen his resume?” asked Clara Belle Wheeler, State Board of Elections member.

The former federal prosecutor will challenge two-term Democratic incumbent Denise Lunsford. “The job of the commonwealth’s attorney is to pursue justice,” said Tracci, 43, “Justice depends upon a fair and transparent process that seeks accountability while respecting the rights of the accused.”

Tracci made his public announcement the day after Lunsford secured an eight-year prison sentence for Mark Weiner, who was convicted of abduction two years ago in a controversial case many believe is a wrongful conviction. “I think jury verdicts are entitled to considerable deference,” said Tracci. “I also think to be entitled to that deference, juries should receive a fair hearing of substantial evidence.”

To bursts of applause, Tracci pledged to protect children, families, victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and elderly crime.

Independent candidates Lawrence Gaughan, who’s running for Board of Supervisors, and Clerk of Court Debbie Shipp, both of whom previously have run as Democrats, joined the Tracci supporters, as did soon-to-announce Scottsville supervisor candidate Earl Smith.