RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's perhaps the premier contest in this upcoming November election. The Henrico commonwealth's attorney race pits three local lawyers in what may be the most watched race of the year.
RYAN: Joining us as former Richmond prosecutor, Shannon Taylor, a democrat in the race. Thanks for being here.
SHANNON: Thank you.
RYAN: We've already spoke to your two opponents, Delegate Bill Janice and former Richmond Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Matt Geary. Your entry was late. In fact, it was the last day that you could file papers to be on the ballot. What took you so long to decide to run?
SHANNON: Well, it wasn't so much about what took me so long to run. I think it was the idea of the public seeing what was going on within the Republican party. The political games, you could say. That had some concerns for not only the Democratic party, but also for Henrico citizens who were concerned about how, perhaps, the Republican party was treating this race. Being that I had 12 years as a prosecutor, people sought me out and asked if I would run as a democrat, and I gladly said yes.
RYAN: We talked about this before you came on, but you are not a career politician. This is traditionally a race that has gone very easily to republicans. As a democrat, how can you overcome that history of success that the republicans have had?
SHANNON: Well I would say that the history has been one where there hasn't been any contest. I think they haven't seen election in this spot in maybe 15, 20 years. So I think that the idea that the citizens of Henrico County now have a choice, they can look at the candidate and look at the experience level. And with my 12 years of prosecutorial experience, my 15 years devoted to the criminal justice center, they will see I'm clearly the one who'll be ready on day one.
RYAN: There's no question you have quite a bit of experience in the courtroom, but commonwealth's attorney is more than just a courtroom lawyer. You're going to be responsible for a fleet of lawyers, office staff. Can you handle the administrative end of it? What can you tell the voters about that?
SHANNON: Absolutely. The idea is that when you are going to elect me as your commonwealth attorney, you are going to elect somebody who has sound judgment, and of course who has the staff of the best attorneys in the area who will be my deputies, it's a management team. It's like the captain of a ship. The captain doesn't run the ship by himself. He's going to have a team of people who are going help him, and I can assure everyone that my experience in all facets of the criminal justice system makes me the best prepared, and I will have the best team on day one.
RYAN: Shannon Taylor, thank you for being here. This is definitely a race we're keeping a close eye on. We will talk to you soon before the voters go to the polls.
Shannon: Thanks so much, Ryan.