As a former resident of Garden City and a long-time criminal prosecutor (including six years with the Finney County Attorney's office) I have been following the upcoming Finney County Attorney race with much interest. I would like to comment on Mr. Brian Sherwood's decision to run a "write in" campaign.
For those of you who don't know, Susan Richmeier won the Republican primary for Finney County Attorney. She won with less than 50 percent of the Republican vote. Since there are no Democrat or Independent candidates running, she has effectively won the position without a large portion of the county having a say in the matter.
Brian Sherwood's write-in campaign is not based on "spite" but on his understanding of the need for Finney County to have an experienced "chief law enforcement official." He was urged to run at the insistence of various law enforcement agencies which understand the need that the Finney County Attorney be an experienced criminal prosecutor. Moreover, his campaign allows Democrats and Independents, as well as Republicans to have a say in who will be enforcing the criminal laws in Finney County.
His campaign allows all citizens to have a vote in their next county attorney, not just the less than 50 percent of Republicans who voted for Richmeier. Unlike what Ms. Richmeier may try to tell you, the Finney County Attorney is not an "administrator." He/she will be responsible for the prosecution of all felony criminal cases in Finney County. Brian Sherwood has had more than 20 years working in the Finney County Attorney's office and has done multiple jury trials including, but not limited to, murder, rape and robbery.
Ms. Richmeier's complete lack of jury trial experience is also troubling ... she claims in a recent Telegram article to have "set" (a legal term for scheduled) several jury trials but makes no mention of ever having done one. This is like a surgeon telling you that he's scheduled many surgeries but has never actually done one. The only way to get jury trial experience is to do them.
The next Finney County Attorney will have control of the hiring and training of all prosecutors, will control and direct the prosecution of all felony criminal cases, and will have the ultimate responsibility over all felony jury trials in Finney County. Plus, with recent budget cuts that will in all likelihood result in the loss of one attorney position, he/she will have to pick up the slack by actually doing jury trials. That person needs prosecution experience. This is a public safety issue. I urge all citizens of Finney County to write in Brian Sherwood for Finney County Attorney.
Get leadership from Sherwood
Knowing Brian Sherwood as I do, I can testify as to his sincerity when he states he wants the position of County Attorney so the residents of Finney County will have the best representation of skill and knowledge in this position that no other current candidate could provide.
Not only are 22 years of experience as a successful prosecuting attorney a valuable asset, but reliability, commitment and leadership are a must in the County Attorney's office and Brian Sherwood will provide us with those qualities.
I am writing in Brian Sherwood on my ballot this Nov. 6 for County Attorney, and after careful consideration I hope others will do the same.
Brian Sherwood, write-in, right-on.
ARLIE DeFREESE JR.,