Public forum held for Vanderburgh Co. prosecutor candidates

Public forum held for Vanderburgh Co. prosecutor candidates
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 4:50 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The two candidates for Vanderburgh County Prosecutor came together Thursday to answer questions from the public.

The public forum was at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s central location. Over the course of an hour, the candidates had three minutes at a time to share their views and win over voters.

A crowd gathered to get to know their candidates for county prosecutor. Republican candidate Diana Moers and Democratic candidate Jon Schaefer had three minutes at a time to state their case. At times, they both expressed their desire to make changes in the prosecutor’s office.

“They have what I would say is an administrative bloat,” said Schaefer. “At any one time, you’ve got a lawyer that is carrying a 300 open caseload at once.”

The two answered a range of questions, including how to prosecute those with mental health or substance abuse problems, and what their priorities would be if elected.

One common theme was community safety, and both candidates talked about keeping dangerous people off the street.

“I’m going to make sure that we have really good information when we go to sentencings if someone pleads guilty to recommend a strong sentence and to keep people who are violent offenders incarcerated,” said Moers.

When it comes to divisive issues, like Indiana’s recent abortion law, both candidates assured the public their role would be to uphold the law, no matter their personal ideology.

One big difference between the two is how they would run the office.

“My opponent says there’s a big administrative job to being the prosecutor, and I agree there’s a lot of work that needs to be done around the office but that can be done with non-lawyers,” said Schaefer.

Both are area natives. Moers is from Evansville and Schaefer is from Haubstadt, and they both say they’re eager to serve and they’re grateful for the people in the area.

“Vanderburgh County has a great community effort with being concerned with politics, having forums like this, and being concerned with what the prosecutor is doing to keep the community safe,” said Moers.

The forum was hosted by The League of Women Voters of Southern Indiana. Organizers say they’re working to put together a similar event in October for candidates in competitive races for the state legislature.