Eric Rucker, the Republican candidate for Shawnee County District Attorney, held a press conference Monday. Rucker spoke about his own record as a prosecutor, but his focus was on his opponent, Democratic candidate, Chad Taylor.
Rucker claimed Taylor does not have enough experience for the job because Taylor has never prosecuted a criminal case. Rucker also said Taylor has not defended enough major felony cases in Shawnee County.
"My opponent has no experience whatsoever doing any major felony work in either defending or prosecuting," Rucker said. "How could he assert, to any thinking Shawnee Countian, that he would have the experience necessary to be your next District Attorney?"
" I respectfully am the veteran prosecutor in this race," Rucker added." "My opponent can jaw bone about it, and that's politics. I am a prosecutor. I can prove what it is I've done."
Democratic Candidate, Chad Taylor, responded to Rucker's claimes by saying that he does have enough experience for the job. Taylor said he has defended DUI cases and several other misdemeanors in Shawnee county, in addition to other defense cases outside of the county. Taylor also said that he is a strong candidate because he has no "political baggage."
"The Supreme Court has never questioned my forthrightness with them as they have Mr. Rucker," Taylor said. "The court of appeals has never reversed a case on me for prosecutorial misconduct. There haven't been articals written about how the success rate at jury trial has now dipped below 50 percent in Johnson County since the Phill Kline and Eric Rucker tandem in took over that office."
"I'm willing to sit down at the table with law enforcement and the community and put together a plan and protocols in order to solve the problems," Taylor added. "If experience were the issue, we wouldn't have the problems in this community that we do today.
The winner will take the place of DA Bob Hecht, who lost his primary race to Rucker.