I write in support of my husband, Paul Walther, for Commonwealth’s Attorney. Of course, that a spouse who loves her husband would write a letter of support should not be surprising. What should surprise you though is that, as a lawyer myself of nearly 30 years, I am not asking you to vote for my husband because of his vast knowledge of criminal law or years of trial experience. Rather, I want you to support my husband because you see what I see â that he also has those more elusive qualities that define the great prosecutors â zeal tempered with human kindness, neutrality and even-handedness, and a deep and abiding respect for the power of the office.
I do see the relief he feels when a criminal is held to account for his actions; and I see the burden he carries when a victim who has suffered so much leaves the court without a conviction. But I also see the pride he feels when he knows his position has been about helping another human being. I see this humanity play out over and over again. Countless times over the years someone who is a stranger to me approaches my husband. I know by the outstretched hand of that person, that the thank you from a former defendant is sincere. My husband will often ask “Are you doing OK, are you behaving?” And they will tell him “Yes, sir.” I see a man who counts these small victories to be as important as any single conviction.
I see the effort he makes during times most of us would call “after hours.â I see him answer a police officer’s call in the middle of his own child’s soccer game and in the middle of the night. I see the extra time he takes to mentor young lawyers, teaching them that the prosecutor’s job is to seek justice no matter where that takes them. I see a man who approaches each defendant as an individual and without undue judgment, allowing him to consider the differences in that individual’s life and the stressors he may be under compared to another defendant. I see a man who, in the midst of trying thousands of cases, has earned the respect of his adversaries, not the contempt one might expect from foes.
These things don’t happen with a person whose only concern, as his opponent charges, is “to rack up another ‘win.'” But for my husband — who I see to be deeply mindful of the power of the office — these things have been a daily part of his long career. And they show him to be a person possessing the positive attributes of compassion, fairness, and humility. Attributes I think we all can agree will serve this community well in the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
I did not think, though, that these qualities could have prepared a man so used to calmly dealing with facts for the acrimony and misrepresentations leveled in this campaign; but I was wrong. While I am quick to want to lash out, he is always the voice of reason. No doubt my husband’s pledge to run a positive campaign has been tested. But he has maintained that promise because he believes that for him to do otherwise would serve no legitimate purpose. He has maintained that promise, because just like any of the great prosecutors, he is careful with the words he chooses and ever mindful of the consequences of his words.
If you see the man I see, I believe you will be compelled to vote for Paul Walther this November 6th.