Editorial - Our choice for attorney: Chris KarpanFor the first time in 12 years, Douglas County voters will see two names on the ballot for county attorney – incumbent Chris Karpan and challenger Chad Larson.
For the first time in 12 years, Douglas County voters will see two names on the ballot for county attorney – incumbent Chris Karpan and challenger Chad Larson.
When considering who to vote for, residents should consider a few key questions: Is the current county attorney effective? Is he getting the job done? Does he have the respect of not only those within his office but also with the public, key leaders in local law enforcement, the county board and others involved in the local criminal justice system?
With Karpan, the answer to all those questions is a resounding “yes.” We’re aware there is a level of dissatisfaction among a few members of law enforcement who are backing Larson in this race. But friction between law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office are common in any county and that fact shouldn’t sway voters. We’re convinced that Karpan’s experience, proven ability to work with others and his job performance in the last 12 years have more than earned him another term.
After winning election in 1998, Karpan has done an admirable job leading the county attorney’s office, dealing with the public and prosecuting all types of cases, including murders, armed robberies and sexual assault. He’s also worked hard responding to the complex legal issues that confront the county hospital, the county board and other county departments.
If he was doing a substandard job or receiving widespread complaints, there would be a reason to give the position to someone else but that’s clearly not the case here. A look at some of the endorsements Karpan has garnered provides insights into his work ethic and professionalism. He’s received solid backing for re-election from county department heads (past and present), a county commissioner, the assistant attorneys in his office and many others.
Karpan’s opponent, Larson, appears to be doing a good job as a full-time assistant county attorney in Pope County, which is about one-third of the size of Douglas County. He said he will bring a “new direction” to the county attorney’s office.
But in this instance, a change in direction isn’t warranted. Karpan has a proven record of deftly managing not only his office but also the complexities of prosecuting Douglas County’s growing criminal caseloads, social services issues and mental health commitments. As an effective, experienced public servant, Chris Karpan deserves the public’s full support, and your vote, on November 2.