CHARLES TOWN Local attorney Ruth McQuade will run in the Democratic primary this spring in hopes of being elected Jefferson County prosecuting attorney in the fall's general election.
McQuade is a West Virginia native who has lived in Jefferson County since 2007. Before receiving a law degree from the Antioch School of Law, McQuade grew up as the 10th of 15 children in Nicholas County. Her childhood helped her prepare for a legal career, McQuade said Friday.
"That is a real foundation for the development of advocacy skills early on You have to learn to advocate for yourself and for others, because that's a huge family," McQuade said.
Before going into private practice, McQuade spent 20 years as a federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice and gained experience working cooperatively with federal law enforcement agencies.
McQuade said she'd like to use all aspects of the county's law enforcement - from what she described as a great judiciary, talented law enforcement personnel and staff members in the prosecuting attorney's office - to provide Jefferson County residents with one of the top prosecuting attorney's offices in the state.
"I think that we really need a people's prosecutor, and I don't think that people understand how important the prosecuting attorney's office is and how it can impact their daily lives. I want to change that," McQuade said. "I believe that I can do that and bring some advancements to the office in technology, communications and coordination."
Emphasizing the protection of children whether from sexual predators, Internet predators or abusive parents would also be one of McQuade's top priorities, she said.
McQuade added that she wants to make the prosecuting attorney's office, and its work, more visible to the public to try and deter potential criminals from breaking the law.
McQuade will face current Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Lorenzetti in this year's Democratic primary.
McQuade ran in the 2008 Democratic primary and lost to Lorenzetti. McQuade also competed in the 2010 Democratic primary for the Shepherdstown District seat on the Jefferson County Commission.
There are no Republican candidates for Jefferson County prosecuting attorney.
The primary election is scheduled for May 8, and the general election is set for Nov. 6. Additional election information is available online at either www.sos.wv.gov, or www.jeffersoncountyclerkwv.com.