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Pantos to run for County Attorney

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Elections

David Pantos has thrown his hat in the contest ring for County Attorney. Here is a statement from the candidate:

Fellow Democrat:

Our criminal justice system is broken. It’s far past time we fulfill the promissory note of the constitution and Nebraska’s state motto to guarantee that all people have access to equal justice before the law. The failed war on drugs, institutional bigotry, and special treatment for the wealthy and well-connected have prevented all residents of Douglas County from accessing that equal justice. Not anymore. I’m Dave Pantos and I’m running for Douglas County Attorney to be a part of the solution. 

As an attorney who has worked tirelessly for a fair and equitable justice system, I have a passion for service and good government. As almost everyone would agree, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The Reverend Dr. King’s words resonate so loudly today because we still have so much work to do. As County Attorney, I will draw on my experience to bring our justice system into the 21st century. 

I’ve served this community throughout my career. As a Legal Aid attorney, I secured key victories for people with disabilities. As Executive Director of Legal Aid Nebraska, I established new projects to improve health care access, defend people without means, and protect immigrants from being treated unfairly. I currently teach law and policy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and I’m in court every week representing tenants facing homelessness in eviction court. 

I want to take this experience to the Douglas County Courthouse. Prosecutors are the most influential actors in the criminal justice system. They have almost unlimited capacity to push for fairer sentencing. Many prosecutors – including the incumbent –  focus solely on obtaining convictions. And it hasn’t worked. 

We’ve had the same County attorney for 15 years. During this time, violent crime, gun crimes, and murders are up. Clearly the current strategy isn’t working. It’s time for a change. 

As the next Douglas County Attorney, I will work to reform and improve our County attorney’s office. This will include:

  • Ending prosecution of low-level marijuana possession 
  • Change metrics of evaluation to focus on crime reduction, not increased incarceration
  • Immediate review of policies and practices with a focus on racial justice
  • Working to end cash bail except in the most severe cases
  • Increase transparency
  • Immediately end the poverty trap of fines and fees

I hope you will support me to bring back a sense of equal justice and fairness to this important office. Please visit my website to sign up to volunteer in any way you are able. I would also greatly appreciate a contribution at a level that you are comfortable with! I am not taking any corporate PAC money so your grassroots dollars mean a whole lot to me.

We can win this race and make it a Democratic office, again. I will work tirelessly to make that happen. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely, 

Dave Pantos

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