It is easy to run for political office against an established incumbent by throwing around allegations of ineffective leadership.
It is far more difficult for a challenger to put forth cogent ways in which he would do a better job.
That is the position in which Bradley Roach finds himself as he runs against Barbara LaWall, who has served as Pima County attorney for a dozen years. Green Party candidate Claudia Ellquist also is in the race.
There is no love lost between LaWall and Roach. The latter worked for the former until he left under pressure after becoming ensnared in a case in which one doctor was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill another doctor. Roach was reprimanded by the county.
Roach, a Republican, insists his run against Democrat LaWall is not personal – but his misaimed and largely vacuous litany of accusations and allegations belie his denials.
Roach says the crime rate is too high – true – and that is LaWall’s fault – untrue. Roach said LaWall could cut the crime rate by seeking longer prison terms for dangerous and repeat criminals. But LaWall says that is her focus, and Roach offers no contravening evidence.
He also claims LaWall prosecutes only cases that the media find “interesting.” But it is far more likely LaWall prosecutes the type of violent case that the media is most apt to cover.
LaWall has a good record as county attorney. We have criticized her in the past for taking too many cases to trial, causing higher costs with little return. She since has reduced the trial rate while concentrating on the worst criminals. Seventy percent of the cases taken to trial involve those who commit serious, violent crimes – often repeatedly.
She has an excellent record in working with victims of crimes and children who have been victimized. And she has stayed within her budget.
Ellquist is an avowed death penalty foe and says she would never seek death in any homicide. If she wants to work to change Arizona law, fine. But as prosecutor, she should not ignore the wishes of a majority of Arizonans.
The Tucson Citizen endorses Democrat Barbara LaWall for re- election as Pima County attorney.