Thursday, April 24, 2014 —
Two attorneys accustomed to working for the opposition hope to parlay their legal experience into becoming Stanly County’s first full-time prosecutor.
With Stanly County braced to form its own prosecutorial and judicial district by year’s end, defense attorneys T. Lynn Clodfelter and Jim Phillips are vying to become the county’s inaugural district attorney.
Both Republicans are seasoned attorneys with diverse experience, but neither have ever worked as an assistant district attorney prior to becoming a defense attorney.
Clodfelter, 45, touts his relationships and ability to navigate the county’s judicial community as well as its law enforcement as one of the reasons why he should be district attorney.
Phillips, 61, claims to be a crusader for Stanly on a mission to rid the county of miscarriages of justice. He wants to be a part of cleaning up the judicial community and what he deems its liberal influences gleaned from previous associations.
Each will be tasked with securing assistant district attorneys to handle the county’s caseload, which is expected to move more quickly and efficiently because of Stanly’s own district.
Neither is opposed to plea bargaining, while both remain steadfast at prosecuting more serious crimes.
By initiating its own prosecutorial and judicial district, Stanly County will no longer be a part of the larger district that includes Anson and Richmond counties. Union County was first to break away from the once four-county district to form its own.
Clodfelter and Phillips are the only two vying for district attorney, with no Democrat seeking the position. The GOP primary winner on May 6 effectively becomes Stanly’s newest district attorney, barring no successful write-in candidate in November.
To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email ritchie@stanlynews press.com.
Editor’s Note: Candidates for Stanly County district attorney were emailed a list of questions with a limit of 200 words per question. Here are their answers, which have been edited for length and clarity.