I write to encourage my friends and neighbors in Orange County to vote for Diana Harris O’Connell for commonwealth’s attorney.

I know Diana is “the real deal” because I am a retired prosecutor who held the same office for 20 years. I know the importance such a position has in a community.

Only the prosecutor can decide what to prosecute and what not to prosecute. Only the prosecutor is empowered to direct law enforcement decisions through his or her interpretation of the laws. Only the prosecutor can decide when the evidence is present in a proposed case—and when it is not.

Sometimes folks don’t like to be told they are incorrect, but Diana knows her position requires her to tell the hard truth from time to time. In the end, we are all better off when officials like her  hold to that which she knows to be correct.

She is a seasoned professional who has worked diligently to make her home, and ours, a safer and better place to live. We have all seen this in the high-profile jury trials she has pursued through the years. She won those cases through hard work and a keen knowledge of the law. She is just as dedicated in the cases we don’t see in the papers.

In the end, it comes down to this for me: Diana has 16 years of experience in the ever-changing world of prosecution. She knows the demands which have been placed on prosecutors yearly—ever increasing, ever twisting. Why would we want to throw away all of that experience?

I’m voting for “the real deal.”

Gary Close

Locust Grove

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