BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s not every day you see a democrat buy an ad supporting a republican, but that’s exactly what a former sheriff did and more.
It is a battle royale with an unlikely opponent.
District attorney Jon David faces a republican primary challenge from Ryan Smithwick. But a former sheriff has joined in the fight after buying an ad bashing David.
Just one month before elections Batten bought an ad in the Whiteville News Reporter showing comments David made in a 2011 article in “Lawyers Weekly.”
In the ad Batten said, “David boldly stated that he aligns himself, ‘very well with the wine-and-cheese set, the kind of people living in the gated communities.'”
We showed David’s opponent the ad for his thoughts.
“I think those comments, they speak for themselves as far as what types of citizens in the community you do well with, and what types that you don’t do well with,” Smithwick said.
Batten said David told a civic organization, “I thought the hardest thing I would have to do when I took this job as DA would be whether to play nine holes or 18 holes of golf.”
But David says those comments were taken out of context.
“I don’t even play golf right now at this point in my life,” David said. “I’m so busy with the work of being district attorney and being a dad of two children under four years old that my time is very much consumed. So what you have here are people who try to take things out of context for political gain.”
And this is not the first time Batten has had some unfavorable comments about David.
In 2011 Batten told “Lawyers Weekly” that David was not treating Columbus and Bladen counties fairly, but he later told us the writer only used his negative comments for the story.
Batten made it very clear who he wants as the next DA, but David says Smithwick is not qualified for the job.
“My opponent is a criminal defense attorney who’s never handled a murder case, so from an experience stand point, and experience really matters when we’re talking about district attorney, we’re just at very different places in our career,” David said.
“Well experience, I would disagree with him. I’ve got experience. As far as a murder case is concerned, I’ve tried everything short of a murder case. That means I’ve tried attempted murders, rapes, robberies, violent cases,” Smithwick said.
We tried reaching Batten for his comments, but he did not return our calls.