Arlington County Board candidate Audrey Clement won’t be on the ballot until November, but she has weighed in with a ringing endorsement of incumbent Theo Stamos in the June 11 Democratic primary for commonwealth’s attorney.
“If you are unhappy with the reckless tactics and hysterical attacks leveled against a dedicated career prosecutor with a proven track record for even-handed law enforcement, then join me in supporting Theo Stamos for re-election,” Clement said in a May 28 message to supporters.
Clement enunciated two main reasons for her support of the incumbent. She criticized challenger Parisa Tafti for “lies” about Stamos’s actions on voting-rights restoration, and said Tafti was barking up the wrong tree when she blamed the prosecutor, rather than the General Assembly, for Virginia laws on issues including marijuana possession and cash bail.
Clement also was critical of Tafti’s comments, leveled at Stamos, on the handling of a police-involved shooting.
Although Clement has never won a local race in multiple tries for County Board and School Board, her support for Stamos – particularly in a close race – might not be inconsequential. Virginia primaries are open to all voters; the state government does not register voters by political party.
In past elections, Clement at times has scored upward of 30 percent of the overall vote, so her opinion in this race may have an impact.