RICHMOND — Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin has requested that a special prosecutor be appointed to review the Virginia State Police’s investigation into allegations of election fraud by Mark Earley Jr., who handily won a Republican primary Tuesday.
McEachin cited “a social relationship with the parents of Mr. Earley” as the reason for her request that a prosecutor from another jurisdiction review the evidence and decide whether to prosecute. Earley is the son of former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley Sr., also a Republican. McEachin, a Democrat, also just won a primary Tuesday.
McEachin said late Friday that her request is pending in Richmond Circuit Court.
In May, the Virginia State Police confirmed that it was looking “into a complaint concerning paperwork submitted by Mark Earley Jr. to the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.”
Even under the cloud of a criminal investigation, Earley easily won Tuesday’s Republican primary in House District 68, a seat currently held by Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond. Earley received more than 91% of the primary vote against perennial candidate Mike Dickinson, a far-right candidate and former Democrat.
Earley moved in with his parents in the Huguenot Farms area, which is in the 68th District, to run for state office. He had been living with his family on West 24th Street in Richmond’s Woodland Heights neighborhood, which is not in the district that includes parts of Richmond’s west side and parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties.
But on March 16, he signed a required form for candidates that asked if he owned any real estate valued at over $5,000 outside of his principal residence, to which he checked “no.”
When asked by the Richmond Times-Dispatch why he didn’t list the house he owns, Earley said he made a “paperwork mistake” and filed an amended form.