Your Local Election Headquarters: Schuylkill County District Attorney Race

POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- As the November 7 general election rapidly approaches, your local elections headquarters is introducing you candidates in several key races.

Both born and raised in Schuylkill County, incumbent District Attorney Christine Holman and challenger Mike O'Pake both share a passion for making their home a better place.

Holman says she wants more time to finish what she's started.


"I can't believe these years have gone by as they have, and I think it's because I've been so busy," said Republican, Christine Holman.

During her time as DA she's expanded the drug task force and helped implement a drug treatment court.


"Heroin right now is our number one culprit," said Holman.

Her opponent agrees that the drug problem is the top priority.


"I want to get out on the forefront of this to stop the problem. I just don't want a drug deal to happen and then have to prosecute someone -- I want to stop the drug dealing from happening," said Democrat, Mike O'Pake.

O'Pake tells me he wants to take a "proactive -- not reactive" approach, if elected. He spent 22 years working in the DA's office before the last election, then he bided his time in the public defender's office, waiting for this election.


"It's not safe in Schuylkill County right now," said O'Pake.

He says that's because there backlog of outstanding bench warrants to be executed. He wants to work on that, and address the number of inmates at the prison.

"I want to get them to trial sooner than it's happening now. I don't want them sitting in there for 8 months at a time. If they're in prison, let's get them to trial or in front of a judge to be sentenced," said O'Pake.

Another issue -- blight. During this term, we've followed Holman into backyards and inside blighted properties.


"I think I've brought it to the forefront. Opened people's eyes to the fact that blight is in fact a crime," said Holman.


"There's a significant blight problem in Schuylkill County... However that blight problem is not going to be solved by the District Attorney's office," said O'Pake.

He says that's a problem that only money can solve.

There is no formal debate scheduled between the two, but they will be speaking at an opioid forum at North Schuylkill High School November 1.

And don't forget to vote on Nov. 7. For this election, every vote really does count. Four years ago Holman won by just 73 votes.   
 

 


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