Delegate Paul Nichols was taken into custody for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer? Not good.
This was the subject of a mail piece that hit the 51st District today, which doesn’t tell us about the disposition of the case, but it does give the broad overview of what the incident involved. Apparently Paul Nichols and someone else were in the outer banks in 2006 and got pulled over on suspicion of DUI. The officer calls for backup. Almost an hour later, an ambulance is called to the scene and Nichols is placed under arrest for “resist, delay, obstruct” and “assault on a law enforcement official.”
A year later, without anyone knowing that this happened, Nichols is elected to the House of Delegates, representing the 51st District. Now they do.
Since the mailer doesn’t mention a conviction, I think it’s safe to assume that the charges were dismissed or reduced, and that Paul Nichols was not convicted of assaulting a police officer. Lawyers tend to get pretty lenient treatment from the courts sometimes, and Nichols wasn’t the only one to benefit from this. His opponent last election, also a lawyer, managed to pretty much get off on a reckless driving charge in Fairfax County that was pending during the 2007 election season. Only this time Nichols isn’t running against another attorney with a questionable driving record. They’re running against someone they’re referring to internally as “Captian America,” although I don’t imagine the moniker is supposed to be flattering.
I can see this being a game-changer in what is looking like a really close contest. The Anderson campaign is saying their polling as of about two weeks ago put the contenders neck-and-neck, and that was before any of the mail started dropping. In something running this close, it doesn’t take much to put you over the top.
This might do it.
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