Four Candidates For Deschutes County District Attorney

On Monday, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel announced that he will not seek a third term. His current term ends in 2022, and the election in May 2022 will decide who will serve as district attorney in 2023. Hummel noted his successes during the past seven years and said that he had difficulty making the decision not to run for a third term. Here’s what you need to know about these four candidates.

Kevin Barton

Kevin McLaughlin, the incumbent Deschutes County District Attorney, has been a Democrat since 2008. He has worked as a prosecutor in the Deschutes County court system for eight years. He has also served as the District Attorney for the City of Tucson, Arizona. During the recent pandemic restrictions, he helped establish a remote court at the county fairgrounds to process criminal cases.

As district attorney, Kevin has focused on creating smart policies to combat crime and protect the community. One of these policies is the creation of a “cold case” unit, which will review unsolved violent crimes that occurred over 40 years ago. This unit will use the most recent developments in forensic science to determine if the crime can be solved using new technologies. The goal of this program is to give justice to victims of crime while holding offenders accountable.

Previously, Kevin Barton worked as a prosecutor for the Washington County DA’s office. He has prosecuted a range of crimes and leads the office’s Major Crimes Team. He is involved in various nonprofit boards, including the Washington County Family Justice Center and the Oregon District Attorneys Association. Despite his diverse experience and the position’s high-profile position, he still works hard to uphold the law.

Steve Gunnels

If you are looking for a district attorney in Oregon, you might want to consider running for Deschutes County. This district is home to numerous crime-fighting agencies, but few of them have a district attorney. That means a vacancy in the office is bound to arise. That’s where Steve Gunnels, a former chief deputy district attorney, comes in. He has been in the position for more than 30 years, serving under three different district attorneys, including John Hummel.

Steve Gunnels, Deschutes County district attorney, is a long-time resident of Central Oregon. He has been a prosecutor for over 27 years and has tried some of the worst crimes in the county. He attended Redmond High School and Oregon State University. He also earned a B.A. from Oregon State University. As a prosecutor, Gunnels has a wealth of experience and is well-qualified for the job.

Aaron Boonshoft

A Portland resident, Aaron Boonshoft is the son of a wealthy commodity trader. He has also donated to causes related to human rights, including the Sex Workers Project. The Sex Workers Project helped back a failed effort to criminalize prostitution. In 2016, Boonshoft’s campaign contributed $1.2 million to the Sex Workers Project. He also supports anti-trafficking efforts, having donated $50,000 last year.

In a contested race, Todd and his challenger, Aaron Boonshoft, were endorsed by the Democratic Party. He said that he would change Oregon’s criminal justice system and implement more social programs. He spent $251,398 for his campaign, compared to Clarkson’s $219,578. Boonshoft was Todd’s top donor with $50,000, according to financial disclosures from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. The rest of the district attorney races in Oregon were uncontested.

Among Oregon DA races, two have been contested for a decade. The incumbent won with a significant margin. In the Marion County race, incumbent District Attorney Paige Clarkson received 32,466 votes, or 52 percent, while her challenger, Spencer Todd, received 29,574 votes. Boonshoft’s campaign message emphasized holding criminals accountable for their actions. She blamed the rise in crime on progressive laws such as ending the death penalty and restricting juvenile offenders.

Pat Flaherty

Before becoming Deschutes County district attorney, Pat Flaherty threatened to sack all four DDAs and replace them with new ones. He specifically said that Darryl Nakahira, his predecessor, had not displayed sufficient loyalty. This would be true even if the CBA was in place. Ultimately, the court sided with the plaintiffs, who were able to obtain a favorable resolution in the case.

During the 2011 election, Flaherty declined to reappoint five former deputy district attorneys because he was not confident in their ability to serve the county. The employees were previously at will, but unionization occurred shortly before Flaherty was re-elected. Some employees sued, and five of them were eventually compensated with over $1 million in out-of-court settlements. After the lawsuits, Flaherty’s office settled the lawsuits with the former deputies.

Despite the resignations, Flaherty praised the two top deputies in a press release. Flaherty did not divulge the reasons behind the resignations. Flaherty has hired new chief deputy district attorney Traci Anderson and Deputy District Attorney Pat Horton. Flaherty also praised the current deputies. In May, Flaherty narrowly defeated Sharon Forster in the primary and was unable to win the general election.

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