King is also running on a progressive agenda as he takes on Republican incumbent Glen Hill in November’s general election. King is promising to divert more offenders from incarceration, increase the diversity of the sheriff’s office and end the Prince William County jail’s controversial agreement, known as 287(g), to help the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with immigration enforcement.
“Unfortunately, we are still seeing some of the same criminal justice issues from 50 years ago,” King said. “I don’t want kids 50 years from now having the same conversations about police brutality and bias.”
In Prince William County, the sheriff runs the jail and provides courthouse security. The Prince William County Police Department provides law enforcement services.
King, who is a sheriff’s deputy in Fairfax County, also served in the Army in Iraq. He is the first Democrat to mount a run for the sheriff’s office in Prince William County in 15 years.
Hill, a moderate Republican who is serving his fourth term, is also a U.S. Army veteran and had a long career in law enforcement before he was elected sheriff in 2004. He is overseeing a $45.6 million renovation of the jail and supports the 287(g) program, saying it helps the county tackle gang issues. Hill did not immediately return a request for comment.
The contribution to King from Democracy PAC, which is Soros’s vehicle for funding races in the 2020 elections, gives the candidate a large advantage moneywise. With the donation, he has raised about $88,000 to Hill’s $61,000 during this election cycle, according to state campaign finance records. King said he plans to use the money for mailers.
King said he hopes the endorsement from Soros leads to other donations and backing for his campaign.
November’s election will be crucial in determining the future of criminal justice in Prince William County. In addition to the sheriff’s race, Democrat Amy Ashworth and Republican Mike May will face off to replace retiring Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert, who has been prosecutor for more than 50 years.