Voter Guide 2018: Wicomico State’s Attorney

The Wicomico State’s Attorney’s race pits a court-appointed office-holder, Jamie Dykes, against a well-known, longtime Salisbury defense attorney, Seth Mitchell. This is a brief narrative summarizing the contenders’ experience and positions. A PAC 14 “One On One” interview is attached through YouTube.

Voter Guide 2018: Wicomico State’s Attorney

Jamie Dykes

•Republican
•jamielynndykes@gmail.com

Wicomico County’s prosecutor’s office hasn’t had a publicly elected leader running things since Matt Maciarello was appointed a Circuit Court judge in July 2016.

Jamie Dykes.

First, State’s Attorney’s Deputy Ella Disharoon was appointed to the seat, but left for a post in a neighboring county. A panel of local judges reached into the private sector and named Jamie Dykes to the post last December.

Dykes, a former Assistant State’s Attorney in Davis Ruark’s office, was well known for her work in child advocacy cases. She acknowledges that the State’s Attorney’s role has evolved beyond simple law and order activities.

“Our community’s biggest problems are drugs, mental health and (people) learning how we should treat each other,” she said. Prosecutors everywhere have had to move beyond merely putting lawbreakers behind bars and have taken on victim’s rights and crime prevention roles.

“I am committed to this,” Dykes said. “This is a calling for me.”

Dykes admitted that her job is a difficult one. “It’s been more challenging than I thought it would be. It’s like being a parent — everyone can tell you what it’s going to be like but you don’t know until you experience it,” she said. “But it feels good. It feels right. It feels like I’m where I should be.”

Dykes said her staff — “18 really great prosecutors who want to contribute to the community in a positive way” and “18 support staff members who want the same thing” — are of great help.

She also compliments the continued partnership her office has with the assorted law enforcement agencies.

If sh is elected, Dykes will be the first woman elected State’s Attorney in county history. In Worcester County, Kris Heiser — a Deputy State’s Attorney working under Dykes — was elected in June to be State’s Attorney, also a first.

Seth Mitchell

•Democrat
•smitch521@comcast.net

A well-known local attorney for nearly 30 years, Mitchell sought the State’s Attorney’s seat in 2010, ultimately falling to Matt Maciarello. High-energy and ready with observations, Mitchell is an experienced defense attorney and former Assistant State’s Attorney who is not afraid to ask questions and assert his viewpoint.

Seth Mitchell.

“I can create an even playing field for everyone. Everyone should be treated the same under the law. The law should have the same result, no matter who you are in court,” he said.

“The beauty of being the State’s Attorney is that you have a lot of discretion,” Mitchell said. “Basically, I want to see professionalism brought back to the office.”

Mitchell said he often sees state prosecutors not fully prepared for court and they sometimes are slow in assisting their courtroom foes.

“Defense attorneys are having trouble getting discovery items from the State’s Attorney’s Office,” he said.

“I am committed to fairness and principle,” he said.

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