Jimmie Harp speaks to local Democrats

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By Brett Johnson

Messenger Correspondent

Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp was the keynote speaker at a recent meeting of the Etowah County Democratic Executive Committee. The group met at Top O’ The River where Harp announced his plans to run for re-election as a Democrat.

“I want to tell you tonight: I’m Jimmie Harp, I am your District Attorney and I’ll be on the ticket as a Democrat in 2016,” said Harp as the crowd erupted in applause. “My daddy taught me a long time ago, the old Bear Bryant thing, you dance with the one that brought you. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

Harp brings experience, know-how, and enthusiasm to the county’s prosecutorial office. He was first elected District Attorney in November 2004 after serving ten years as an assistant district attorney.

In addition to serving as the county’s top criminal prosecutor, Harp has also been instrumental in the formation and success of Zerometh, an anti-meth program that is now implemented by the Alabama District Attorney’s Association. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Cumberland School of Law.

“I feel like when somebody walks into the doors of the DA’s office, I’m not going to look at them and say ‘Oh, well that’s a Republican, he needs to take the other door,’” said Harp. “No. We administer justice to all. And that’s the way it should be.”

The district attorney went on to share with the group the adversity his office has overcome since the state began lowering allocations for prosecutorial offices. He said it has forced his office to make tough, but necessary decisions in order to serve Etowah County citizens to the best of its ability. 

Harp will be on the ballot in November of 2016 and is already looking ahead at his prospects for election. He says that he is not concerned if anyone will or will not run against him, but is focused on serving the people of Etowah County.

The District Attorney position is countywide and so is the election for that office. In recent years Republicans have edged out Democrats in countywide races, however there are a few instances when experience has edged out over political party preference.

In 2012, Etowah County voters elected Democrat Cassandra “Sam” Johnson over Republican County Commissioner Joey Statum to serve as their Circuit Clerk. Johnson had served as chief clerk for the Circuit Clerk’s office for over 30 years prior to running for the position.

Going back to the beginning of the state and local Republican insurgence, Etowah County voters selected incumbent Democrat Michael Gladden as their coroner in 2010 after his successful term in office. He was the only Democrat to win countywide in the worst election for Democrats in Alabama for over 100 years.

The trend seems to prove that Etowah County voters prefer experience over party affiliation and knowhow in its technical elected offices. Harp will likely lean on that trend as he seeks to continue prosecuting criminals and protecting victims on behalf of the citizens of Etowah County.

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