I want to first point out that my columns do have some parameters. One of the rules that I abide by is that I cannot endorse any candidate seeking election to public office.

With that being said, I want to point out the importance of next month’s election for the District Attorney of Douglas Co. This race does not just affect the citizens of Douglas Co. It affects the citizens of Carroll, Haralson, Coweta, and the other surrounding counties.

Why is this so? Douglas County borders Carroll Co., which is where I live. Additionally, part of Villa Rica is actually located in Douglas County. Criminal activity that happens in Douglas County affects not only the people of Douglas County, but spills over into other areas of west Georgia.

Douglas County also borders areas of dense populations. In recent years, I have noticed that more and more people are coming from the metro Atlanta area down I-20 to commit serious crimes in our western counties. Armed robberies, massive drug trafficking, and active gang activity is on the rise.

Because Douglas County is a natural barrier to the metro area, a strong, competent, and proven prosecutor needs to serve as a roadblock to this crime in order to protect the all of the citizens of west Georgia.

I would invite you to do your own research on the two candidates. They are both good people. However, I would humbly suggest that high levels of character, integrity, and courage are key traits to look for in the candidate. Which candidate will be able to protect victims of crime and at the same time seek justice in all cases coming before the Court?

Seeking justice oftentimes means granting leniency to people charged with crimes who suffer from conditions such as substance abuse, mental illness, or have simply had a tough time.

Experience is another key factor in looking at this race. Find out for yourself if either candidate has the requisite experience to handle such an important job. With a heavy dose of experience comes better judgment, better management skills, and the ability to make unpopular decisions when those decisions are the right things to do.

As a criminal defense attorney, some folks may think that I would like to see a very lenient candidate elected. This is logical on its face, but could not be further from the truth. I am looking for a strong candidate who can “agree to disagree” on cases that I handle. This means that myself and a prosecutor may disagree in court, oppose one another on motions and trials, and even just “battle it out” sometimes in the arena of a superior court. This is a healthy adversarial atmosphere where justice thrives.

Douglas County needs a person of character, faith, and who possesses the bravery to persevere in seeking justice for the people.

I suppose the most important quality in a prosecutor is courage. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not he or she who does not feel afraid, but him or her who conquers that fear.