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ELECTION 2018: Sanders County Attorney

 

Naomi Leisz

NAME: Naomi R. Leisz

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Juris Doctor

FAMILY: Most all my family lives in Trout Creek, and has for over 43 years. My parents, Louis and Jean Hannum; my brother Zach Hannum & my sister-in-law, Sara Bache-Hannum their three children, my two nieces, my aunt, Elizabeth Glackin; and my Uncle, Mark Hannum. I have 3 children ages 20, 13 & 10.

OCCUPATION: Private Attorney

EXPERIENCE: 22 years private practice

WHY ARE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION? I don't like this question, I have not made any claims at this point in the process. However, generally I do not think any one person should hold public office for too long. At some point they develop a sense of complacency about the job and that is a disservice to the public.

WHAT LEADERSHIP QUALITIES DO YOU POSSESS AND WHY ARE THESE IMPORANT FOR A COUNTY ATTORNEY? Being the owner and operator of my own business for my entire career. I've had up to three employees working for me at different junctures over the years, so just managing an office, organizing a caseload and managing a business. Managing employees can be challenging at times.

I think leadership in a public office is having clear ideas and the ability to articulate your ideas to others so that they understand what it is you are trying to accomplish and why. Most importantly, I think actually listening to what others have to say is a real skill, being open to hear others even if you do not necessarily agree with them or their opinions. Sometimes people just want to be heard, and realizing that people are individuals, and they will of their own volition, hopefully act for the betterment of all. In the end, you have to have a backbone to make the tough decisions when they need to be made.

WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU HAVE FOR THE OFFICE IF ELECTED?

-Continue working with the Sanders County DUI task force;

-Establish a working relationship with the Sanders County Sheriff Department;

-Establish clear communication with victims and witnesses;

- Work with Justice Court on improving and structured misdemeanor probation system;

-Providing streamlined and effective legal assistance to all of our County Boards;

WHAT CHANGES DO YOU THINK ARE NEEDED IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, IF ANY?

Primarily, access to the court system and the justice system in general here in Sanders County is very difficult for the disenfranchised. I see very often where people are forced to represent themselves, they cannot afford to hire an attorney and VERY bad results occur. Judges have a LOT of power, their decisions can change people's lives, their whole future. It is unfair because it creates a system where some do not even have the opportunity to seek justice because it is only those who have the financial resources are persons with access to the system. It creates an imbalance of power and further marginalizes those already living on the fringe of our society. Most Judges are not inclined to recognize the marginalized people who flow through the system.

Secondly, here in Sanders County, definitely more organized rehabilitation. Structured, rehabilitation which gives defendants an opportunity to be successful so we do not see them back in the system.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR LEGAL CAREER?

Just graduating from Law School was a quite major accomplishment for me. I was the first person in my family to earn a college degree. Success in the Montana Supreme Court on more than one occasion.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE VOTERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Probably that I do not have a lot of tolerance for rudeness in others, condescending and demeaning behavior toward others and repeat offenders; that I believe condoning and acquiescing in illegal or immoral behavior should be punished; that I believe in second chances for most people, but not everyone; that I believe our individual Constitutional protections for the accused which are set forth in the Bill of Rights are ultimately for the protection of the innocent, not the guilty; and finally, that I do not play games in the legal arena- I will tell you to your face what I think.

NAME: Bob Zimmerman

EDUCATION: Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law

FAMILY: Beautiful wife, four great children, nine wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Oh, and Dasher, the cat.

OCCUPATION: Sanders County Attorney

EXPERIENCE: Six years private practice (ugh) and 38 years as a prosecutor. I have been an Assistant United States Attorney, the United States Attorney for the District of Montana, a deputy county attorney and Sanders County Attorney.

WHY ARE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION? 1. Experience, 2. Experience, 3. Experience.

WHAT LEADERSHIP QUALITIES DO YOU POSSESS AND WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT FOR A COUNTY ATTORNEY?

Bob Zimmerman

HONESTY, INTEGRITY, AND EMPATHY. The County Attorney makes decisions from the start to the end of a criminal case. Those decisions impact other people's lives and it is so important to be honest and act with integrity when making those decisions. The county attorney must listen to the "other side of the story" with empathy and be willing to change his or her mind if the facts and circumstances merit it.

WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU HAVE FOR THE OFFICE IF ELECTED?

Convince the Sheriff, whoever that is, that Sanders County really does have a drug problem and needs a deputy dedicated to working only drug cases.

WHAT CHANGES DO YOU THINK ARE NEEDED IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, IF ANY?

I would like to see more treatment facilities for those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR LEGAL CAREER?

Convicting child abusers. Not for my ego but hopefully to help children begin the healing process.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE VOTERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I smoke a pretty mean piece of meat!

 

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