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I want to express my support for Josh Lynn as the next District Attorney. I hired both candidates [Lynn and Joyce Dudley]. I supervised both candidates. I monitored the careers of both. The clear choice is Josh Lynn.

Debating who has won the most cases, who has tried the most cases, or who is the best trial lawyer adds nothing but hyperbole and the usual overstated campaign rhetoric to voters’ decision-making information. Both candidates are proven prosecutors and if that were the primary qualification, there are at least a half a dozen with equal prosecutorial credentials.

The District Attorney’s job entails more. It is foremost an administrative position that demands decision-making on budgets, personnel, office supervision, and collaborative community responsibilities.

In this respect, there is a clear separation between the qualifications and talents of the two candidates. Josh Lynn was promoted to chief trial deputy after a competitive selection process. Ms. Dudley did not even apply, and one of her most vocal supporters was not selected.

Josh Lynn is the only candidate who has both the trial and administrative experience to effectively run the District Attorney’s office and who has the unqualified support of the late District Attorney Christie Stanley, Assistant DAs Pat McKinley, Gene Martinez, and Eric Hanson, and myself. This 160 years of collective prosecutorial and management experience supports Josh Lynn because he possess the character, experience, and good judgment to lead the District Attorney’s office now and in the future. — Tom Sneddon, Santa Barbara County DA, retired

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It was very revealing to attend a forum of the two candidates for District Attorney and hear them talking about the problem of youth violence. Josh Lynn’s comments about how he will have gang members “fearing” the DA’s office are a clear indication that he has very little (if any) understanding of gang culture and what’s going on in the streets. What a joke! Does he not realize that once in the gang, going to prison (which is the worst the DA’s office can do) is a badge of honor! It firmly establishes them in the gang life; they’ll get a PhD in gang culture in prison and bring that back to our communities. I laughed out loud when I heard him say that!

On the other hand, Joyce Dudley is apparently courageous enough to suggest and advocate for substantive changes in our approach to youth and gang violence. The fact that she mentioned restorative justice as an approach that our county could do more with shows real understanding, initiative, leadership, and strength.

Restorative justice is being used all over the country and the world and continues to grow because it works. Yes, traditional prosecution is necessary in many cases, for the immediate safety of the public—but it is doing little to curb the growth of a culture of violence. Josh Lynn seems to be offering some of the same old “get tough” policies that are not working. Gangs are alive and thriving in prison, so one could consider that a prison sentence for a gang member on the streets is like being sentenced to an extended family reunion.

What became crystal clear is that one candidate is clueless about those issues and one candidate remains open to more effective methods given the scope and reality of the problem.— Joyce Howerton, former mayor, City of Lompoc

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I write this letter in support of Josh Lynn who is running for District Attorney. As a member of law enforcement and a gang investigator, I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Lynn on numerous investigations and prosecutions. He prosecuted a number of serious gang cases I investigated. I am very impressed with his judgment, his professionalism in court, his knowledge of the law, and his strong work ethic. What you see is what you get with Josh Lynn. He is a straightforward person with high values and integrity and no hidden agenda. He maintains these qualities in both his professional and personal life. He continues to be actively involved in efforts to curb and eliminate the gang problem which currently plagues our community.

As a law enforcement investigator, I consider the position of District Attorney to be the top law enforcement post in the county. I believe the District Attorney should have the highest of ethics, integrity, and judgment. I can vouch for Lynn; he possesses all of these qualities without doubt. I believe it says a great deal when the previous District Attorneys, and supervisors of both candidates, overwhelmingly support and endorse him. Who better to judge the candidates? They are truly the people who know both candidates best and the qualities that it takes to run the Office of District Attorney.

I have watched this race for District Attorney unfold with much frustration as it directly affects the future and safety of my children, family, and friends in this community. We need someone who is a dedicated prosecutor and leader, not a politician.—Gary Siegel (The writer is a Santa Barbara law enforcement officer and gang investigator)

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I have known Joyce Dudley personally for some time. I have loved her for her enthusiasm, energy, compassion, passion, sense of humor, intelligence….I could go on and on.

In September, I began working on her campaign for District Attorney and have had the opportunity to see another side of her: her professional side.

I successfully ran a multimillion dollar business for 25 years and I know good management. Joyce brings the same attributes to her professional life that I have so long admired in her personal life. She delegates without abdicating final responsibility. She is inclusive, seeks opinions, listens, questions, and then comes to her own decision. She is unruffled by unexpected obstacles and quickly and decisively moves forward.

You only need to look at the folks who are giving their time and talent to get a sense of who Joyce Dudley is. Joyce has an incredible group of volunteers, some of which are among the most influential, successful residents of our community, all committed to getting her elected. Lawyers, CPA’s, entrepreneurs, young professionals, Deputy District Attorneys, teachers, students; her volunteers are a cross section of our county.

As an administrator, as a manager, you could ask for nothing more than what Joyce brings to the table. Her years of experience both in and out of the courtroom and from before she was a prosecutor have given her unique qualifications to efficiently, effectively, and knowledgeably be an incredible District Attorney.—Lynda Marino, Santa Barbara

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