Video: District Attorney Candidates State Their Positions Ahead of Election
TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) -On Tuesday, First District voters will decide who will hold the district attorney’s post for the next four years.
WCBI’s Allie Martin sat down with both men who are vying for the office and has more.
It has been a busy summer and fall for John Weddle. Earlier this year Governor Phil Bryant appointed the Tupelo native to take over as District Attorney when the office was left vacant when Trent Kelly won a special election to finish the House term of the late Alan Nunnelee.
Weddle faced no opposition as the Republican candidate in August and believes his campaign is gaining momentum.
“The citizens of this district deserve a district attorney who is going to work hard in office so we’re certainly going to work hard to get their vote and get the office.”
Weddle is 46 and has served as municipal attorney, public defender and assistant District Attorney.
He says holding public officials in Alcorn County accountable for their misdeeds is a major accomplishment since taking office.
“We cracked down on public corruption, in part of the district where it needed to happen, we got prison time on cases that in that area had never gotten prison time, some of the largest sentences in the state of Mississippi as a matter of fact. ”
The interim DA says he shares the frustration of many law enforcement officers when it comes to the revolving door of the criminal justice system. He would like to see more truth in sentencing laws.
“We would like to see a situation where when we offer something, or the judge sentences a defendant to a particular sentence, we know they are going to be gone for that amount of time.”
On the Democratic side, Arch Bullard is a former prosecutor who has also served as a public defender. He currently works with the Corinth based Clayton O Donnell Law Firm and says he enjoys prosecuting criminal cases.
“It’s a very rewarding job when you are helping people through very difficult and traumatic periods in their life and helping them deal with that problem, finding justice, being able to work with law enforcement is very rewarding.”
Like his opponent, the 51 year old Vicksburg native believes in programs giving second chances to first time offenders and those with substance abuse issues committing non violent crimes. But he says those who commit violent crimes and repeat offenders must be dealt with harshly.
“Those are the ones you really have to stand up on with the victims, with law enforcement to make they get stiff and harder sentences.”
Bullard has campaigned hard for months and says he doesn’t believe running as a Democrat will be a hindrance.
“When you are a prosecutor and your whole job is to seek justice, it just doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican and it’s all about whether you have the experience to handle the job, experience to work with law enforcement and to get cases moved.”
Both Weddle and Bullard will work hard through election day, taking no vote for granted. In Tupelo I’m Allie Martin WCBI News.
Both Weddle and Bullard say their families have been supportive in their campaigns.
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