Chip “DNA Dude” Harding runs for sheriff
Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding will announce his run as a Republican for Albemarle sheriff at a press conference Tuesday, February 13. Ed Robb, a former FBI undercover agent, is now sheriff, and Harding's announcement sparks speculation that Robb– also a Republican– will not be running again. Harding has said that he would not run against Robb.
"I'm going to make a statement on Monday," says Robb, 69. As for revealing any clues to his retirement plans, he says, "I prefer not to."
Harding joined the Charlottesville Police Department May 1, 1978, and is looking at mandatory retirement at age 60. He's consistently made headlines, especially with his push to fund the state's DNA databank, which has put Virginia at the forefront of solving otherwise cold cases through the use of DNA. Harding was back in Richmond last month to prod the General Assembly to close gaps to make sure every felon in the state is in the DNA database.
Harding also put his name up for Charlottesville police chief when Buddy Rittenhouse retired in 2001, but seemed relieved when Tim Longo took the job.
The sheriff's job is one that has virtually nothing to do with forensics and DNA– and a lot to do with hauling prisoners back and forth from jail and for keeping order in the court.