Camblos: ‘Not a great year for Republicans’
Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos, fresh from a stinging upset Tuesday at the hands of Democrat Denise Lunsford, said, "It wasn't a good year to be a Republican," at a press conference this morning.
Camblos took Wednesday off and said he had had time to reflect. He cited George Bush and the war in Iraq as factors in the election, adding that while the war shouldn't have affected the race for the constitutional office of Albemarle's top prosecutor, "It did."
He blasted a "misleading" television ad put out by Crime Victims United of Virginia, a recently formed PAC that endorsed Lunsford, calling it "a total lie."
The ad featured Edward Deane, whose wife and granddaughters were killed in a 1998 auto accident. Camblos filed no charges against the UVA student who was driving the car that struck them. In the ad, Deane talks about how he was arrested and held in a small cell with no bed and no commode. Former Albemarle police officer Roger Mathias, who was ordered to follow Deane and arrest him if he tried to put flowers at the site where his family was killed, says in the ad, "I thought this was kind of strange to be treating a victim this way."
"The ad started, 'My wife got killed, I got locked up,'" said Camblos. "The theme was I don't care about victims. Yes, he did get locked up. It was because he came into my office and threatened my wife and children. He tried to come to my residence. The statements made are half truths."
When pressed by Albie Tabackman for specifics of what was untrue in the ad, Camblos said, "They don't tell you it happened because [Deane] threatened my family." Tabackman, husband of Crime Victims' board member Joan Fenton, was videotaping the conference.
Camblos disavowed any connection with a negative ad about Lunsford that was published in the November 2 Daily Progress. "I had nothing to do with that," he said. "I ran a positive campaign."
The ad, paid for by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, targeted Lunsford's domestic partner, Richard Brewer, and his management of Mayfair House assisted living.
The Commonwealth's Attorney commended the Democrats: "They did a great job getting the vote out. It was the Democratic party that beat me."
While acknowledging the difficulty of losing a job he's held for 16 years, Camblos said, "I'm going to be okay." Citing his "great wife" and faith in God, he emphasized, "I'm going to be fine."
As for what he's going to do next, Camblos, 61, replied, "It's only been 48 hours."