What's your top priority for the county, if elected?
My top priority is improving the communication between the county attorney's office, the law enforcement and the community. This communication has been poor, and it's impossible for the law enforcement to continue to develop good cases for the county attorney's office if they aren't informed of what is transpiring with their cases. The community also needs to be informed. Victims must be informed why the county attorney's office is making the decisions they're making. Both the law enforcement and community need to have faith and trust in the county attorney's office. Without the proper communication, the faith and trust fails.
It's important to keep a proper objective approach to evaluating facts and evidence gathered by investigative agencies and making formal decisions on how to properly apply the resources, both in manpower and dollars, to accomplish what each prosecutor is ethically bound to seek, which is justice. My continued goal is, as it has always been, to seek justice in every case, for all of the parties involved without bias or prejudice regardless of the presence of outside pressures or influence. We should all seek to resolve the criminal cases which we present so that the outcome is just and fair.
What differentiates you from your opponent?
As a prosecutor I have tried more than 80 jury trials, including over 20 homicide cases, one of which included a successful murder prosecution where the body of the victim was never recovered. I've successfully presented serious nonhomicide cases involving, among others, a serial rapist sentenced to 155 years - the longest sentence in Leavenworth County history. I've also argued more than 120 appeals before the Kansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, as well as the Federal District Court of Kansas and the Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. My opponent has tried one jury trial, a misdemeanor case against a defendant who represented himself. He hasn't prosecuted an adult felony jury trial and has never briefed nor argued any appellate cases.
The status quo seems to be more than acceptable in our county attorney's office. I'm ready to work to create a much needed change in that environment. I see a problem with crime rates in Leavenworth County and want to work to transform our community into the home I remember as a child. I have energy and passion, and most importantly, I have the knowledge, dedication and support of the people to make this change happen. Our crime rate is going in the wrong direction, and I believe our community deserves more than continuing with the status quo.