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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Voters in Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties will have a couple of candidates to choose from in next year’s Republican Primary for district attorney.

At last night’s Brunswick County Republican Party meeting, defense attorney Ryan Smithwick announced his intention to challenge incumbent Jon David.

“Next spring in the Republican Primary I will be vying for the office of district attorney for the three counties,” Smithwick said.

After rising through the ranks as an assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County Smithwick entered private practice in Shallotte. Now he has decided to throw his hat in the ring to challenge David at the urging of several judges, politicians, and law enforcement officials.

“There was quite a bit of encouragement from some of my colleagues at the courthouse,” Smithwick. “It wasn’t something that I had thought about too much. After several local officials and some law enforcement asked me to consider it, it’s just the right time to do it. We need a change.”

Many in the Republican Party were surprised at Smithwick’s announcement, because he has only been a member of the GOP since 2011. However he says this is not a political ploy, but a call to action.

“It doesn’t take much research to look at all of the three counties that are involved and look at how we’re not using our courtroom time effectively,” Smithwick said. “We’re not disposing of cases efficiently. As we all know when that doesn’t happen more and more crime continues to come from that so we need to dispose of cases better.”

We spoke to David by phone today about Smithwick’s announcement. The incumbent said he would wait until the february filing date to address any potential challengers.

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15 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Shallotte attorney plans primary challenge against Jon David"

Ray Smith
2015 years 8 months ago

You guys do not know Ryan obviously or he’s having these positive posts. The Democrats have gotten Ryan all pumped up to run. Why? The new district attorney has caused way too much rift. Before he came to this area attorneys had cart blance to pull all sorts of deals outside of the courtroom. A few shady judges seemed to join in with whatever the seedy attorneys wished to do. Need a case go away? No problem. It was handled outside of court and outside of the law before Jon David. Jon David is way too honest and that is why a certain judge attacked him his first few months in office. But Ryan Smithwick had a lot of trouble representing clients and while I do not think he’s a crook-He has a problem with his eyes around the girls. So that might be a liability that the taxpayers do not need. But you need to contact the state bar and look at the complaints he has had as far as not representing clients to the best of his ability. Jon David is much better than Rex Gore. Ryan Smithwick cannot find a door handle on some days and he is no Republican.

2015 years 8 months ago

Yah! So glad it’s now public information! Best news I’ve heard all day!

2015 years 8 months ago

Wow. Smithwick has only recently, in 2010, switched from Democrat to Republican. Like someone else we know, from Brunswick County, Smithwick is being escorted around by well-known Democrats. A RINO or two has also popped up to escort him. I point to the good RINO judge in Brunswick County. Do not be fooled. A vote for Smithwick will allow these attorneys to make more money. Jon David is not with this corrupt system. He represents the victims and the regular people. Backroom dealings over in Columbus County went down (by conservative estimates) 90%. If you want a DA that is not with the program go with Jon David. If you want to hand control of our justice system back to the old white haired men that have ran things for 37 years, I would suspect Smithwick is your man.

2015 years 8 months ago

The letter behind the name doesn’t matter. What matters is what he can bring to the table. Smithwick will have my vote.

Brunswick Attorney
2015 years 8 months ago

As a courthouse employee i have seen how great Mr. Smithwick is. He is one of the most intelligent attorneys i have ever seen in all of my years of working at the Brunswick County Courthouse. Even while one of his children has been in and out of the hospital in Chapel Hill, he is working tirelessly for his clients and their families. I have a feeling that you will actually see him AT work as DA. My understanding is the Mr. David is often MIA at any of the courthouses in the district.

Local 123
2015 years 8 months ago

Mr Smithwick has made his living defending and freeing drug dealers for many years now. He has become very wealthy feeding off of the Scum of our society. The majority of the cases he handles involve the worst criminals that Brunswick County has to offer, and he has made his name and a very good living getting them off of charges based on loopholes and technicalities. Is this really the man you want representing justice for our home? I can only hope that someday one of the pathetic animals he has helped free, will find one of his children and offer them their products and services – as Smithwick clearly deems them no threat to “our” children as he helps them slip away from the grasp of the law. Good Luck bottom-feeder, you will not get my vote.

2015 years 8 months ago

Now if you sit back and think about your statement you would see how having a defense attorney as district attorney could benefit these counties by being able to assist in assuring a higher conviction rate to reduce the number of cases being dismissed on technicalities “loop-holes”. Please be aware and understand as a defense attorney he HAS to defend the “scum bags” even if he doesn’t necessarily agree with it but everyone has the right to counsel as well as a fair trial. By not defending them he himself would be breaking the law. Fact is i work in law enforcement, not in this particular area but if i lose a case it just makes me a little more knowledgeable in loop-holes then I”m able to see the mistakes i make and are able to correct these and then it assist me in a higher conviction rate. So i appreciate the defense attorneys. Ultimately they aren’t the criminals they have a duty to act just as i do in law enforcement.

2015 years 8 months ago

I seriously doubt he freed anyone. That is something the Judge and/or Jury would do. What it sounds like is someone did not do their job well enough to secure a conviction.

2015 years 8 months ago

I guess some people always have something negative to say. You surely don’t know Ryan if that is your observation of him. What outstanding, wonderful thing has YOUR current DA done for your county? Ryan is one of the most friendliest, honorable, down to earth people I know. Too bad you haven’t taken the time to know him before you make your comments about him!

2015 years 8 months ago

So what you are saying is that Mr. Smithwick knows the law and is very adept at applying it in the cases he works on? That sounds like a good, quality lawyer to me. He goes to the wall for his clients and I know he will do the same for our judicial district, which is a heck of a lot more than anyone can say for Jon David.

2015 years 8 months ago

I am so glad to hear this. If people only knew what was going on in the current DA’s office, they would be appalled. The current DA has only caused problems and is more interested to hear himself on TV then doing anything to address the current problems in his three county district. All he talks about is how great he is and how good of a job he has done. If anyone is interested, ask people who actually know him how he has done (people in his office, law enforcement, etc.). We don’t need someone who moves into our county and says he can change things. As a citizen of Brunswick County, I fully support anyone who runs against David. David running on change is a joke, let’s elect someone who actually is able to do the job.

2015 years 8 months ago

Please….Mr. David has this locked up already.

2015 years 8 months ago

the “Davids”.
Jon and Ben.
I always thought good attorney’s had big or quirky names like Percival Sedgewick Hightower III.

Jon David sounds so plain, so pedestrian……….
I mean even Goolsby spells his first name as Thom (See that Surf City? you should change yours).

Yah get what you vote for


2015 years 8 months ago

Are you aware that Mr. Smithwick was an Assistant District Attorney in Mecklenburg County for years? It is funny how the Mr. David has failed to mention this. This county has an opportunity to elect someone who has seen both sides of the system, someone who is fair and just, someone who this county can actually trust. My vote will be for Mr. Smithwick.

2015 years 8 months ago

It is time for THEE Jon David and is inflated ego to go. Conditions in the DA’s office are worse than ever.


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