Letter to the Editor: Vote for Robert Willett District Attorney of the 12th Judicial District

To the editor,

Citizens of Saguache County, the Democratic primary is June 30, 2020. There is a contested race for District Attorney of the 12th Judicial District which covers the San Luis Valley.  I know both candidates.  Robert Willett cut his teeth in the Saguache County Court, where I was presiding. He brought a lifetime of experience, calmness, fairness, and thoughtfulness to this new chapter in his life. Robert learned how take a case to trial, to evaluate evidence and to manage a heavy docket and vast distances between courts. More important, he listens to the victims of the crimes he prosecutes, and he operates with honor and ethics.  I know his opponent, Alonzo Payne, as a good man, but I can’t speak to Mr. Payne’s experience in trial, in prosecution or case management, because he has little experience in the courtroom, and no experience as in representing We, the people, in very difficult, sometimes horrifying criminal cases.  This is a critical difference, because the district attorney in our rural communities does not get to sit in Alamosa and be a manager, although that is a part of the role. Right now, there are murder cases being pursued across the SLV, and the District Attorney must be ready to step in and try or support his deputies in these most serious of crimes.  The young attorneys who often get their start in the DA’s office (like I got my start), need someone with experience to give them perspective and guidance. Bob Willett is that man.  One of District Attorney Willett’s passions is the juvenile and adult diversion programs.  These program support equitable handling of cases, giving people a chance to show their community that they have learned from their mistakes, without the burden of a criminal record. These programs have such a high priority that Bob has found a way to keep them going despite reduction in State funding.  Let’s continue with a leader who understands the position, will listen to us, and will be there for us.  Vote for Robert Willett, District Attorney June 30, 2020.

 Amanda Pearson,
Retired Saguache County Judge