Thompson wins Cole County prosecuting attorney race

Locke Thompson
Locke Thompson

Republican Locke Thompson handily won the race Tuesday for Cole County prosecuting attorney.

The unofficial, but complete results showed Thompson with 22,163 votes (68.18 percent). Democrat Deirdre "DK" Hirner got 10,285 votes (31.64 percent).

Thompson defeated incumbent prosecutor Mark Richardson in the August Republican primary. Thompson will take office in January.

"I've tried to stay focused on the election, so we'll get to the transition in the near future," Thompson said Tuesday night. "I want to thank Mark (Richardson) for his years of service to the county."

Hirner, who worked in the administrations of two former Missouri governors, said her extensive background in the legal system and state government would have made her an effective Cole County prosecutor.

"We knocked on every door in Cole County and worked very hard," Hirner said Tuesday night. "It was a very good experience. The best part was that I met, along the campaign trail, some incredibly wonderful people, many of whom are from the minority community. And I look forward to working with them in the future."

Thompson worked as an assistant prosecutor in Jasper County from 2016-17, before returning to his hometown of Jefferson City to work in the special prosecutions unit of the Missouri Attorney General's Office. He left that position in early March to campaign for Cole County prosecuting attorney.

Thompson said he would have a good working relationship with local law enforcement agencies and already has had conversations with Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler on "working together to make sure that justice gets done."

From the beginning of his campaign, Thompson said the top issue for him is the crisis Cole County and the rest of the country faces concerning opioids.

Thompson also said he would like to establish a mental health court to help deal with the problem because, he said, 80 percent of drug addicts have underlying mental health issues they may be self-medicating. He favored having drug courts like the county currently has, but added also implementing a mental health court will give offenders who meet criteria "the opportunity to go through a system that really addresses, in depth, both issues."

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