Two front-runners have emerged in the June 5 election for District Attorney: Paul Hornick and Sally Moreno. As a Deputy District Attorney in Madera, I know both. Both are veterans. Both are experienced prosecutors. Both are aggressive trial attorneys. Both have important law enforcement endorsements. Both have ruffled the feathers of more than a few defense attorneys. Both are also intense competitors, and in a close race like this, expect fireworks.
I have good news for the People of Madera. Both Paul Hornick and Sally Moreno are capable prosecutors. But we cannot have two District Attorneys. Only one can win. Like my fellow prosecutors, I support Paul Hornick. I will give you one reason today.
Sally abandoned us. By 2014, political chaos had driven nearly every experienced prosecutor out of Madera. Within months of the 2014 election Sally was our last homicide prosecutor. Then Sally left for Fresno, leaving the County of Madera with a docket full of murders and not a single murder prosecutor. By luck and grace, several prosecutors stepped up to challenges far beyond their experience, and none of these murderers escaped justice. Others followed suit, and together we filled the gaping holes in our ranks. Sally left us in a legal melee, to fend for ourselves. We learned the hard way, with lost sleep and long hours. We learned more in the last four years than many prosecutors learn in a career.
When we needed experience and leadership most, Sally left for Fresno. I understand why. The new administration was no fan of hers. I am sure they made her job here thoroughly unpleasant. In her shoes, I do not know what I would have done. But hard times are when leaders persevere, and when things got hard, she left.
Paul Hornick joined our office during those hard years. He fought alongside us in the legal trenches every day. A year of experience in Madera during that time is worth ten in Fresno. Paul leapt into this battle head-first and never looked back—he tried cases that no one else would, and even now while other candidates are off shaking hands and kissing babies, Paul is right alongside us where he has been the whole time.
Like you, I have a lot at stake in this election. One of these two will be my boss, and I know speaking my mind could have a heavy cost. It’s worth the risk. I want the next District Attorney to be the one who has stood with me in the trenches during the hard times. I’d follow Paul Hornick anywhere, and for whatever my opinion is worth, I hope you’ll vote for him.