PRESS RELEASE: Why I’m Voting for Josh Katcher for Commonwealth’s Attorney

June 12, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 7, 2023, and I’m endorsing Josh Katcher for Commonwealth’s Attorney.

[click here for details on how and where to vote early]

So what is a Commonwealth’s Attorney? The CA is the top prosecutor for our community, just like a District Attorney. Meaning, when the police arrest someone, the CA is the one who decides how to handle the case. 

Josh’s campaign theme is “Real Justice, Real Reform.” He is running because he believes there *is* a way to uphold public safety, improve our justice system, and respect victims. It’s not currently happening because of the failings of the current CA, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti.  

The CA’s office is in free-fall. 16 attorneys have left in the past year and half. That represents well over 50% of the attorneys in the office. All of these attorneys were hand-picked by the current CA, so they aren’t leaving because of philosophical issues. They are leaving because of mismanagement. To make matters worse, there are currently 9 vacant, fully-funded attorney positions. The office only has 24 attorney spots, so more than a third of attorney spots remain unfilled. All of this information was obtained from Arlington Human Resources. 

Because the office is being run into the ground, efforts to improve the system are stalled, justice for victims is not being done, and it’s impossible to meaningfully address rising crime.  

With more than a decade of experience in the CA’s office, Josh has handled almost every type of case that comes into the courthouse. He has practiced in every court, been in front of every judge, collaborated with every law enforcement agency that brings cases to the courthouse, and negotiated with most of the defense attorneys that routinely practice here. He has tried hundreds of bench trials and over 50 jury trials. He has the experience to both lead the office and lead by example when trying cases.

Josh also has the relationships to keep our community safe while engaging in just prosecutions. He has previously served as president of the Arlington County Bar Association, and was selected to serve on the Virginia State Bar Council. He additionally has often been invited to train prosecutors, defense attorneys, and police officers on the law across the state.  

His opponent, by contrast, has never prosecuted a case. Not one. Not before getting elected. Not since getting elected. And it shows. No one is leading from the front. That’s why attorneys are leaving the office. That’s why we keep hearing about victims being treated poorly by the office. (If you haven’t seen the ads or heard about how the Meade family was treated, click here to read the letter written by the victim’s mom – it’s at the end of the article). 

Instead of talking about her record, Josh’s opponent has literally spent almost a million dollars from an outside SuperPAC pushing the baseless lie that he is a Republican. Click here to read what one former Dehghani-Tafti supporter had to say when she learned she was being lied to.

Josh has been endorsed by the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD). Josh is the only candidate who has been willing to acknowledge rising crime in our community. [Click here for coverage on the recently released ACPD annual report]. And he has been vocal about addressing the drug crisis unfolding in our schools. 

The bottom line is that this election comes down to choosing the right person to be our top elected law enforcement officer. I support Josh because I think he has the right combination of experience, relationships, and philosophy to keep our community safe in a way that is just and fair. He has my vote, and I hope he can count on yours.