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What is a district attorney?
The district attorney is the head prosecutor in Fulton County. The DA prosecutes indictable offenses in both trial and appellate courts in the State of Georgia. The DA is also responsible for prosecuting juveniles in felony and misdemeanor cases. The DA is an elected position with a four-year term. For more information, please visit the DA’s website: https://www.atlantafultoncountyda.org
Paul Howard is the incumbent DA, currently serving his sixth term. He was the first African American elected as DA in the state of Georgia. He served as Fulton County’s Solicitor General for four years prior to being elected DA. Some highlights of his tenure as DA include restructuring the office to better execute its goals, the creation of specialized prosecution units including Crimes Against Women and Children, Public Integrity and more. He also implemented the “Complaint Room” which has streamlined the felony charging process, which has saved the county millions of dollars. He has also made efforts to increase community engagement and address the needs of youth. He is the Director-at-Large of the National Association of District Attorneys and is a member of the National Black Prosecutors Association, the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.
For more information, please visit: https://www.re-electpaulhoward.com/
Christian Wise Smith
Christian Wise Smith is running for DA with the goal of reforming the office. His platform includes focusing less on low-level offenses and instead direct resources towards serious crimes. He believes that drug addiction should be treated as a medical issue instead of a criminal offense and advocates for the expansion of more effective diversion programs. He plans to increase collaboration with law enforcement, citizens, businesses and universities in Fulton County as well as to collaborate with the Fulton County School System to combat juvenile crime. He wants to eliminate the “Complaint Room” and plans to focus on transparency. He most recently served as a Fulton County Assistant District Attorney. Prior to that, he served as an assistant solicitor with the Atlanta Municipal Court and a chief of staff for the Atlanta City Council District 5 member.
For more information, please visit: https://www.wisesmith2020.com
Fani Willis most recently served at the Chief Municipal Court Judge for the City of South Fulton until announcing her candidacy for Fulton County DA. She has worked in both private and public practice. She served as the Assistant Solicitor for the City of Atlanta before serving as Fulton County Assistant District Attorney in the Major Case and Cold Case divisions. She then was promoted to serve as the Deputy District Attorney of the Complex Trial Division. Willis is an advocate for children, victims of violent crime, the LGBT community and domestic violence victims. She also advocated for the passage of a hate crime bill in the 2018 Georgia Legislature. In 2018, she was awarded the Most Power and Influential Woman of the Year and has been recognized numerous times throughout her career. Her platform includes creating pre-indictment diversion programs, establishing a comprehensive investigation unit leading to proper charging and indictments, the expansion of post indictment diversion programs and the use of accountability courts. She also will work to collaborate with community and religious leaders and support youth development programs.
For more information, please visit: https://www.faniwillis.com
Research more candidates in our Democratic Primary Candidate Guide.