Carroll County attorney candidate Stephen Murray makes his case
OSSIPEE - Carroll County Assistant County Attorney Stephen Murray, a Republican from Wolfeboro, will face his former boss, Democratic challenger Robin Gordon of Tamworth in the race for county attorney Nov. 6.
Incumbent Carroll County Attorney Thomas Dewhurst III is not seeking reelection to the two-year post. Murray ran unopposed on the Republican ticket during the primary and Gordon, who previously served as county attorney, defeated challenger attorney Diana Bolander for the Democratic nomination.
Murray has three degrees: a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire; a master's degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
Prior to law school he worked in banking, for Capital One.
'While at Capital One, I decided to attend law school because I realized that the analytical rigor of math and economics degrees, coupled with my management experience, prepared me well for a legal career,' he said.
He interned at both the state Attorney General's Office in the consumer protection division, and with the U.S. Attorney's Office, where his interest in criminal litigation was ignited.
'Those two internships gave me an opportunity to experience not only the excitement of criminal litigation, but also the importance of protecting the community through deterrence and punishment,' he said.
Why choose the public sector? 'The opportunity to work on behalf of the people in the community is an honor that can't be replicated,' he said.
Murray said in his five years with the county he has prosecuted all types of cases, from violent crimes to complex financial cases to drug-related cases. In the last year one of those cases involved applying a rarely used statute to successfully prosecute the owner of a crack house where drugs were being made and used. Murray criticized Gordon's management of the county office during her tenure, and detailed two cases, a traffic fatality in North Conway, and allegations of failure to report child abuse, that Gordon declined to prosecute.
'As county attorney, I will seek justice. If elected county attorney, Robin Gordon will resume her path of taking the easy way out, leaving early and complaining about the county budget,' he said.
If Murray is elected, he said he would continue Dewhurst's efforts to improve personnel management.
He said that includes rewriting job descriptions, setting performance benchmarks and developing a framework for employee evaluations.
'Additionally, I would continue working with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee to develop an intensive probation supervision program. This program is necessary because judges expect such a program and without one, judges are likely to put criminals onto the street without adequate assurances that the community will be protected,' he said.
Murray, originally from Amherst, lives in Wolfeboro. He has three brothers, one sister, seven nieces and two nephews. His campaign plans include attending the scheduled forums and getting to know the residents.
He said so far he has knocked on 2,000 doors with his brother and volunteers, listening to concerns.
'They want accountability and justice,' Murray said.