It’s not even December 2022, and already Arlington’s 2023 election season has gotten interesting.
Josh Katcher, an Arlington County Democratic Committee leader and former deputy commonwealth’s attorney, on Nov. 29 launched a bid to unseat first-term Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who just prior to Thanksgiving had announced her intent to run for re-election.
The two likely will face off in a June primary. The Arlington commonwealth’s attorney also works for residents of the city of Falls Church.
Katcher said he would provide “real reform and real justice” and would address “the multiple failings under the current [prosecutor’s] leadership,” saying his people-oriented campaign could overcome advantages that Dehghani-Tafti is likely to have.
“We have an uphill road to climb,” Katcher said. “Let’s be candid: my opponent will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from PACs outside of our community. Our campaign, by contrast, is going to be people-powered.”
Fueled by outside, left-leaning political-action-committee funding, Dehghani-Tafti in 2019 narrowly defeated two-term incumbent Theo Stamos in the Democratic primary, then won the general election unopposed.
Katcher criticized Dehghani-Tafti for failing to acknowledge that criminal activity has moved higher in the region.
“People are concerned about their safety and their property. Crime is rising in Arlington. There is no doubt about it – we have the data,” he said. “Step one is acknowledging the problem. Denying this or falsely alleging it is part of some media-driven narrative doesn’t solve the problem.”
Katcher has served as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and as finance chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Earlier, he had served as finance chair for Arlington Young Democrats.
In 2016, the local party tapped Katcher to lead efforts at registering voters ahead of the presidential election.