ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — Washington County, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow faces Alexandra Dove Goodpaster in the upcoming general election.
Cumbow, a Democrat, told News Channel 11 that when he isn’t busy working on a case, he is putting in the miles campaigning and spending time in the community.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” Cumbow said. “When I took office, I pledged, one of my promises was to be an active member of the community and to continue doing things the way I’ve always done them: going to events, meeting with people, staying active. Too many people just show up when they want your vote and I said I would never do that.”
Since taking office, Cumbow said he has prosecuted 13 homicide cases. He said his most notable was James Wright, who was convicted of the so-called Mendota Murders. Wright was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.
Cumbow said he also put child sex predators behind bars.
“So I think that work speaks for itself and the voters really respond to it,” Cumbow said.
Cumbow said there are pending murder cases that he would like to continue working on, one with a preliminary hearing next week and another with a trial date set for late November.
If re-elected, Cumbow said he would like to continue expanding the county’s drug court program, which requires group therapy and clean drug screens among other things. Cumbow said the program saves taxpayers around $3,000 per month. He added people are very receptive to the program because it helps low-level offenders.
Cumbow would also like to continue to grow the Washington County Sheriff’s Office community work program, where low-level offenders pick up trash in the community and save on incarceration costs.
Attorney Alexandra Dove Goodpaster, a Republican, has been licensed since 2015 and works in private practice. She said she mainly deals with criminal defense and family law, and some deeds and wills as well.
The new political candidate said she has been campaigning heavily as well.
“Campaigning has been really exciting,” Goodpaster said. “It’s really like literally running a race. It’s hard work and the work does not stop.”
Goodpaster said she wants to make changes for the future of the county with her Republican stance.
“We had serious criminal law reform in 2020 and 2021, and so those changes really turned over some rules that were in place 200 years or longer,” Goodpaster said. “We’ve had serious change here in Virginia.”
Goodpaster said progressive prosecutors are no longer prosecuting misdemeanor thefts.
“So, theft is a crime that I feel strongly about,” Goodpaster said. “I feel like in Southwest Virginia, we all work hard for what we have. And I plan to prosecute those cases stronger than the current office is doing.”
Goodpaster said Cumbow has served and been in the community for many years, but so has she.
“I am ready and qualified to take on this role and I’m excited about it,” said Goodpaster. “If we can get enough voter turnout, I feel like the results will come in my favor.”
Early voting is underway. Election Day is Nov. 7.