Western Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Brian Patterson announced he is running for District Attorney in an Oct. 14 press release. The Western Judicial Circuit serves Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties.
“I am running for District Attorney because I love our community, and I am committed to its safety and security,” Patterson said in the release. “I believe that real, prosecutorial experience and discretion matters in the Office of the District Attorney.”
Patterson plans to create a “Cold Case Unit” and “dedicate a prosecutor to fighting criminal street gangs,” which he considers a growing issue in the community. He seeks to continue the circuit’s accountability courts, focus on overseeing juvenile offenders and prioritize crimes against women and children via the Special Victims Unit.
With his campaign announcement, Patterson joins former state representative Deborah Gonzalez in the race for DA. Ken Mauldin, who has served as DA since 2001, said in July that he would not seek reelection. Voters will decide the new DA in May 2020.
Patterson has served as a prosecutor in the DA’s office since 2002 and was promoted to his current role in 2007. He has tried more than 100 felony and misdemeanor trials and has litigated more than 150 cases in state appellate courts, according to the release.
“My top priority has been, and will always be, seeking justice based on admissible, persuasive evidence in every case in light of the burden of proof and the presumption of innocence, and treating all persons fairly and justly and with dignity and respect,” Patterson said in the release.
Patterson will run as a Democrat. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia and is a former president of the Western Judicial Circuit Bar Association.