By Jennifer Boyce

It’s so refreshing to read how many of the successful business owners of Central Oregon have changed their minds regarding who they want for a district attorney.

The Bulletin; Bob Eberhard, owner of Eberhard’s Dairy; Todd Taylor, president and CEO of Taylor Northwest; and Bill Smith, president of William Smith Properties, are a few of the many people who have done their research and clearly see there is only one man who should continue his duty as district attorney. That man is Patrick Flaherty.

Flaherty has devoted 16 years of experience as a prosecutor, winning every murder case he’s taken to trial. He also supports Jessica’s Law, which mandates longer prison times for the most heinous sex crimes against our children. He and his team have worked hard to protect our community from those who threaten our safety and well-being, and they also work to protect the rights of crime victims. He also doesn’t prosecute people to make an example out of them either.

Cleaning house was very much needed after the Mike Dugan days and Flaherty got a lot of flack for it. But as we can all attest to, you need to have key players that will work “with” you, not against. I applaud him for getting down to business and putting together his winning team despite the vicious attacks from Dugan supporters. One must step into the shoes of the person before judging him.

Since taking over as district attorney 3½ years ago, Flaherty has been able to return money back into the general fund every year, and his office has also effectively reduced the backlog of cases that have been clogging up our court systems. A man on a mission!

Flaherty is also being endorsed by the Crime Victims United of Oregon, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Association and the Bend Police Officer’s Association, along with many other important members of our community.

Here is what a few of his endorsers had to say about Flaherty:

• “We need to retain a qualified prosecutor who has spent a majority of his life pursuing justice. That person is Patrick Flaherty.” — Peter Wanless, cold-case investigator, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

• “… Flaherty has demonstrated as a criminal prosecutor that he focuses on the safety of citizens of Deschutes County. We believe it is vital for the residents of Deschutes County to have a district attorney with an extensive knowledge of criminal law.” — Ron Brown, association president, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Employee Association.

• “Patrick Flaherty is an experienced district attorney whose record shows a genuine commitment to public safety. He is the only candidate for Deschutes County DA who has worked to protect the rights of crime victims. That’s why CVU strongly endorses Flaherty.” — Crime Victims United of Oregon.

Now let me refresh your memory on John Hummel. This man cost Deschutes County citizens millions of dollars when he was a city councilor. Remember those broken-down buses we had? Does anyone recall him abruptly quitting as city councilor in 2007? He moved to various places, like Washington, D.C., Portland and Liberia, having seven different jobs within a seven-year period before moving back to Bend in 2013.

Does this sound like someone who is reliable?

Hummel’s only strengths are: He is a career politician and a defense attorney. Either one does not make him a district attorney. How can we have someone lead 18 other prosecutors if he doesn’t have the experience himself?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure this vote out.

Choose justice, not politics.

Re-elect Flaherty! Experience and integrity count!

— Jennifer Boyce lives in Bend.