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Anoka County Attorney

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  • Candidate picture

    Brad Johnson

  • Candidate picture

    Wade Kish

Información Biográfica

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (750 characters)

How has your career prepared you for this role? (500 characters)

What do you see as the biggest challenges to your office, and how would you address them? (500 characters)

How would you work for racial equity in the justice system? (500 characters)

How would you manage conflict within your office, and earn the public’s trust? (500 characters)

Protecting public safety is the top priority. I will vigorously prosecute crimes that impact families and communities, such as carjackings, sex offenses and trafficking, and the exploitation of the elderly. I will end policies that ignore or minimize certain crimes, and improve policies on bail, no-knock warrants, and prosecution of use of force cases. I will create a citizen’s advisory committee for the county attorney. Second, repair relationships with police. I will assign a prosecutor as a liaison to every law enforcement agency in the county to improve communication. Third, recruit/retain talent. Anoka County has lost talented attorneys to other offices. I will work to improve office culture, compensation, and the work-life balance.
A chief prosecutor for all felony and juvenile crime, and the legal advisor to the county board and departments, the County Attorney must be well-rounded. I am the only candidate with high-level experience as a felony prosecutor and child protection lawyer, plus civil experience representing businesses in multi-million dollar cases. I am on the Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council, a two-term City Councilmember, and a past chair of the MSBA Criminal Law Section. www.BradForAnoka.com/about
1. Improving public confidence in the criminal justice system. Accountability must come first. We must also improve rehabilitation of offenders who accept responsibility. Policies of other counties that ignore crime will not work in Anoka County. 2. Office morale. We will retain good leaders in the office, but make strategic changes where necessary. We can improve the workplace for minority professionals and aggressively recruit talent to better serve the county. www.BradForAnoka.com/vision
1. Racial justice means having a diverse bench of prosecutors and staff. 2. Anoka County is more diverse than it was decades ago. 3. Unfortunately, the office has not evolved to reflect that diversity. 4. I value the perspectives of professionals of different backgrounds, life experiences, and talents; diversity is a strength. 5. A more diverse office will allow better outreach to underrepresented communities and will increase public safety. 6. We do justice better when we all work together.
Conflict isn’t resolved through management. Conflict is solved through leadership. As a local leader with the confidence of the community, I have deep experience improving relationships and responding to the public’s concerns. I have been listening to concerns of the community, law enforcement, and inside the county attorney’s office. I will refocus the office so that it takes a more person-centered approach to the work being done as opposed to focusing on the paper that needs to be processed.
Campaign Website http://www.wadekish.org
Campaign Email wade@wadekish.org
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 1050
ANOKA, MN 55303
First, as always, is public safety. As a career prosecutor, with 19 years of experience prosecuting in Anoka County, I know the public wants to be safe and feel safe. We will continue our strong tradition of prosecuting felony crimes to the fullest extent of the law, from charging to bail (which we will continue to seek), through trial and sentencing. My second priority is to recruit and retain an excellent staff dedicated to public service. This includes both high quality attorneys and support staff. My third priority is to continue to develop supportive and cooperative relationships with all our partners, including law enforcement, the judicial branch, corrections and social services. Those relationships are the key to success.
I have 23+ years of extensive prosecution experience, 19 years of which has been serving all of Anoka County. I’ve been building relationships for every day of those 19 years and can hit the ground running on Day 1. Finally, leadership experience. I have 7 years of management experience, which is vital since the County Attorney's Office is the largest law office in the County. I alone have the leadership skills and management experience to guide 110+ employees in their essential work.
The biggest challenge currently is the recruitment and retention of staff. There has been significant turnover in the past several years in all departments of the County, and especially in the County Attorney's Office. It is very difficult to continually train and retrain new attorneys and support staff. I would address those issues by responsibly exploring avenues to increase pay and staffing levels. We would also continue to find ways to be more efficient, especially related to technology.
The biggest role a County Attorney can have is the creation of an office culture that understands the necessity of being mindful of equity. It starts in our own backyard, with the recruitment and hiring of a qualified and more diverse staff. Another consideration is implicit bias. Even the most well-intentioned persons may have biases they are not aware of, so it's vital to continue to train on and discuss these issues. Finally, we need to ensure that we address inequities if they do occur.
The key to managing conflict in the office is to prevent it before it occurs via communication. But that communication must be sincere, honest, and direct. When conflict does arise, it needs to be addressed immediately, and with a goal towards fairness and stability. Communication is also vital to earn the public's trust. We must fully advise the public what we are doing and why, and in a transparent manner. Finally, hard work demonstrates to the public that we are committed to service!