An attorney race shaping up in BV
Dave Patton, Storm Lake, is launching what he says will be a campaign of "common sense" administration of justice in hopes of becoming the next Buena Vista County Attorney.
He is currently circulating nomination papers, and told the Pilot-Tribune that he is committed to running in the fall election.
As an independent candidate, he would face incumbent Phil Havens. Patton served as an assistant county attorney under Havens from 1995 until earlier this year, when he was fired after being charged with keeping a disorderly house, after a party was held at his home for son Andrew, who was headed to active military duty in Iraq.
Patton was acquitted of the charge recently. Many local young people were charged with frequenting a disorderly house or alcohol charges and face pending court cases.
"I have talked to a lot of people and been encouraged to run," Patton said of his decision to seek office. "I think it is the right thing to do."
He said his main reason for seeking office is that "there is a place for common sense in the administration of justice."
Patton said that while county resident want strong prosecution, it may not be necessary to file charges against every individual encountered by the office.
He added that if elected, he would hope to expand the attorney office's utilization by various county agencies, from the board of supervisors to the county conservation commission.
"With Project AWAYSIS is Storm Lake and projects going on elsewhere in the county as well, this can be a crucial time to provide legal advice to all of the groups that are out there doing their best to make Buena Vista County a better place to live. I think that has been lacking," he said.
Some high profile cases, including a stabbing murder case and a double-shooting attempted murder case, await in Buena Vista County.
Patton said that state experts are available to help prosecute those kind of cases, and while they are fairly rare locally, they are not a reason why he wants the elected position.
"Mainly, I just think there is a lot more the office can do," he said.
Patton runs a private legal practice in Storm Lake. He previously served as a member of the Storm Lake City Council.
Havens has been in office for over a decade, and was unopposed in the Republican primary.