The day Chris Craddock defeated Del. Gary Reese in the 67th District Republican primary election last June, Craddock's campaign manager pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
THE CAMPAIGN manager, Joshua N. Boles, 20, of Oakton, was arrested in April 2004 after Fairfax County police found on him a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia coated with methamphetamine residue, according to court documents.
By the following January, Boles was volunteering as campaign manager for Craddock's bid to unseat Reese in the June 14 primary election.
Craddock, 27, was one of six challengers backed by the Virginia Conservative Action PAC who attempted to unseat incumbent Republicans who supported the 2004 budget compromise. The budget compromise resulted in a $1.34 billion sales tax increase that increased funding on education, public safety and human services. Of the six challenges, Reese was the only incumbent who was defeated.
Craddock, a 27-year-old youth minister and soccer coach, is now running as the Republican nominee in a three-way race to replace Reese in the House of Delegates on Nov. 8.
Among Boles' key responsibilities during the primary was overseeing voter outreach efforts by Craddock's teenage volunteers.
Craddock said Boles was never alone with teenage volunteers during the primary campaign.
Following Craddock's victory over Reese, a two-term incumbent, Boles left his full-time volunteer job with the campaign to begin a paid position elsewhere. However, Boles is still a volunteer on the Craddock campaign.
Boles did not return repeated telephone and e-mail requests for comment.
The revelation about Boles’ drug arrest did not originate from either of the campaigns to elect other candidates in the 67th District race, Democrat Chuck Caputo, 67, and Libertarian Chuck Eby, 49.
Craddock said he "had no idea" that his campaign manager was facing felony drug charges during the six months he was running the primary campaign.
"I vaguely remember him going to court," Craddock said. "But, frankly, lots of people go to court. I just figured he had to go to court for traffic tickets or something."
Craddock said he is not worried about the political ramifications of his choosing a campaign manager who was involved in illegal activity.
"I'm not concerned. Well, I won't say that. It's a real issue. It's a serious problem," he said. "But he was a volunteer who is not even working for us anymore."
Boles entered a guilty plea on June 10, which was processed by Fairfax County Circuit Court officials four days later — the day of the primary election, according to court documents.
Boles has not been sentenced because the court granted, without opposition from the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Boles’ motion to be placed on supervised probation and to delay his sentencing for one year.
His record could be expunged after a year, in June, 2006, so long as he abides by the rules of his probation, passes random drug tests, maintains a B average in college classes and attends drug treatment classes if necessary. Boles' driver's license was revoked for six months and he is required to complete 150 hours of community service, as part of the Fairfax County Sheriff's Community Labor Work Force, which performs landscaping duties at county facilities, according to court documents.
Craddock said he is concerned about hurting the Boles family by bringing up their son's drug arrest.
"I am deeply nervous about this for their family," Craddock said. "I'm nervous about this coming out into the public arena just because he worked on my campaign."