Jimmy Dunn to seek re-election in '14

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn confirmed this week he will seek re-election to his post, becoming the first local candidate to formally announce a bid for the 2014 elections.

Dunn has served a single, eight-year term as district attorney general for the Fourth Judicial District, which includes Cocke, Jefferson and Grainger counties as well as Sevier County. Before that, he served as an assistant district attorney general for more than 16 years.

He said he decided to run again because he’s still energized by the job.

“I like the job," he said. "It’s never boring. It’s always challenging and it causes me to work. I have to work to figure out what the law is and how to apply that law to the facts of the case."

While the job demands long hours from Dunn and the assistant district attorneys and other staff who work with him, he said he still gets up looking forward to coming to work.

“I tell my staff that,” he said. “The day you don’t look forward to coming to work is the day you need to quit. This is much too important not to be enthused about.”

Dunn has seen his staff grow during his eight years, but said he is still pushing the state to provide more resources for his office.

He serves on the Tennessee Public Safety Commission, which includes law enforcement offices as well as district attorneys general. As the voting member for the district attorneys, he helps to improve legislation coming from Nashville.

He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Tennessee District Attorney General’s Office, which he said has given him new ideas for managing his office because he has learned about how other offices operate.

Locally, he said he hopes to continue efforts to educate people about his office. Crime victims typically don’t understand that prosecutors have to move at the speed of the courts and aren’t aware of the obstacles they can face prosecuting a case, and Dunn said he tries to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to to inform people about those issues in case they are victimized.

He also tries to help educate the public about the dangers of drugs and about other crime in the area.

While his office focuses on prosecuting crimes, Dunn said he also tries to take part in activities to help prevent them or address the issues that cause them.

One of his main focuses, he said, is education. While he knows people from every education level and every walk of life commit crimes, he said statistics show people with college degrees or more education were less likely to commit crimes while people who didn’t graduate high school are more likely to commit crimes.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com