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Grays Harbor Democrats reply to request for new list of prosecutor candidates

According to Smylie, the request is improper, unreasonable and unconstitutional. The letter went on to say that “Public safety is not a game. The prosecutor deals with rapists, child molesters and murderers. A placeholder, who may have never prosecuted a felony in their life, should not be used to give your favorite candidate a better shot and comes at a cost to public safety for our citizens.”

Smylie said “We have provided the county commissioners a list of three qualified candidates. If one declines, you have two more candidates to consider. It is a list to exhaustion.”

The county has yet to appoint a Prosecutor, after Stew Menefee retired in September. Gordon said on Monday that if they don’t have a list of candidates on the 18th, “we’re going to go for a list of democrats that would be interested in filling this seat without the use of the democratic party if it comes down to that.

The commissioners appointed Vini Samuel from the first list, although everyone on that list was asking them to appoint Deputy Prosecutor Katy Svoboda. Samuel later declined the appointment.

The Democrats’ first list included their favored candidate Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda, Smylie pointed out in the letter that she is still the top choice as voted on by the Grays Harbor Democratic Party.

Dear Commissioners,
 
The Grays Harbor Democrats recently received your letter (mailed Dec. 6) demanding another list of three candidates to fill the position of county prosecutor. If that meeting is necessary, it could only happen in January, after giving proper notice to the PCOs.
 
Then I read in The Montesano Vidette that at today’s county commissioner meeting, Frank Gordon personally presented a new set of demands that (1) the Grays Harbor Democrats give you a new list of three candidates (2) that those candidates won’t run for the office of prosecutor (3) that you want an answer within 10 days and (4) if your demands aren’t met, Gordon will make up his own list of Democrats to choose from.
 
Gordon’s request is improper, unreasonable and unconstitutional.
 ·        Improper because the commissioners cannot ask the Grays Harbor Democrats to hold such a last-minute meeting, at Christmas, with insufficient notice per our bylaws, forcing us to violate the rules.
·        Unreasonable because the county Democrats can’t bind anyone from running for an office once they’ve been appointed to it.
 
·        Unconstitutional because commissioners have no place under the state constitution placing any such demands upon a county party to produce this sort of list.
 
 Public safety is not a game. The prosecutor deals with rapists, child molesters and murderers. A placeholder, who may have never prosecuted a felony in their life, should not be used to give your favorite candidate a better shot and comes at a cost to public safety for our citizens.
 
The Democratic Party does not support a placeholder because we favor competent leadership, not chaos.
 
Expecting an attorney to be a placeholder, then not run for it, isn’t asking for the best person for the job. It’s begging for mediocrity. We have provided the county commissioners a list of three qualified candidates. If one declines, you have two more candidates to consider. It is a list to exhaustion.
 
The No. 1 pick on that list, Katie Svoboda, is still the top choice for county prosecutor as voted on by the Grays Harbor Democratic Party. Ms. Svoboda is an experienced prosecutor who has made a career out of locking up the worst of the worst. She makes tough decisions for her clients—the public—every day.
 
The citizens and taxpayers deserve the best possible prosecutor to lead the cause of justice in our county.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
George H. Smylie
Attorney at Law
Chair, Grays Harbor Democratic Party

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