For the first time in 20 years, Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties will soon have a new District Attorney. Incumbent Rex Gore lost his bid for re-election. Now, we introduce you to the Republican candidate vying to replace him, Wilmington prosecutor Jon David.
He grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and spent his summers surfing along the coast. Jon David and his twin brother, Ben, graduated high school together in 1988, before going their separate ways for college. Jon went to Florida State University as an undergrad, before returning home to Gainesville for law school at the University of Florida.
Straight out of school he took a job as a prosecutor in Miami. "Since the day that I graduated law school, this is what I have done," David told NewsChannel 3. "I have been a crime fighter my entire career. I know what it means to be a public servant. I love what I do, and I want to continue to do it for the people of Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties."
While Jon works as a prosecutor in Wilmington, he's made his home in Leland for the last 7 years, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and one-year-old son, Tyson. Jon says the justice system where he lives is a long way from where it needs to be. "I don't feel like the people here are being well served, and it's been an indignity for me to live in an area, and work somewhere else, and realize that when I cross the bridge, there's a whole different way of doing business," he said. "I think that people are desperate for a change, and I want to give that to them."
Brunswick County has seen a huge influx of residents in recent years, but there hasn't been as much change in Bladen and Columbus counties. Some of the natives say the fact that Jon David wasn't born and raised here will hurt him in the upcoming election, but David sees his "outsider" status as an advantage to doing his job. "It's these relationships that are formed over generations, that sometimes complicate the administration of justice," he explained of what it would be like for a life-long resident to be the District Attorney. "What I do is I look at the facts, I apply the law, I keep my head down, and sort of use those as the guideposts. Not someone's political affiliation - not personal associations I have with anybody. You just kind of have to do your job and do it in a way in which you're being fair to everybody."
David asks voters to make this race about merit and ability, not who you know. And if he's elected, that's how he plans to run things.
David's opponent is Democrat and Whiteville attorney, Butch Pope, who we profiled earlier this month.
Tune in every Tuesday leading up to election day, to get to know the candidates running for office in our area.