Editor’s Note: Iredell Free News invited candidates for District Attorney in the March 5 Republican primary election to share their qualifications, relevant experience and vision for the DA’s Office with our readers. Early voting began February 15.


I have been the District Attorney of Iredell and Alexander counties since 2009. I was an Assistant District Attorney from 1997-2008. As a career prosecutor, I have tried every type of case from speeding tickets to a death penalty murder cases. I have devoted my career to prosecuting criminals and keeping our community safe.


I grew up in Statesville, the daughter of Paul and Phebe Kirkman. My dad was a cardiologist who served Iredell and Alexander counties for more than 30 years, and my mom is a retired pharmacist who was always involved in our church and in organizations aimed at helping our community.

I graduated from Statesville High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I worked at the Shelby Star and the Winston-Salem Journal before going to law school at Campbell University. I started working in the District Attorney’s Office in 1997, and I never left.

As your District Attorney, I supervise a staff of 13 attorneys and 13 support personnel. My office represents the state in District Court, Superior Court and Juvenile Court. It is also our duty to advise law enforcement officers in our district. My staff and I advise officers from six local law enforcement agencies, as well as such state agencies as the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Wildlife and the State Bureau of Investigation.

I am a board member of Fourth Creek Rotary and Mooresville/South Iredell Crimestoppers. I am a founding board member of Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center, which aids in prosecuting cases involving sexual assault against children. I serve on the Drug Alcohol Coalition of Iredell and the Domestic Violence Task Force of Iredell. I know that it is important to be engaged not just in the court system, but also in the community.

I instruct law enforcement officers and detention officers on legal updates, discovery, report writing and testifying in court. I serve on the N.C. Domestic Violence Commission and the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force. I go to Northside Baptist Church, where I sing (but not very loud) in the choir.

During the time that I have been District Attorney, my office has continued to dispose of more cases than are filed. We use all available court time to achieve justice as swiftly as possible. We dispose of cases by trial or by plea, and we take into account the impact that the crime has had on the victims.

During my tenure, we instituted H & I Felony District Court to dispose of low-level felonies more quickly and efficiently, and we use civil sessions of court to handle criminal cases whenever possible. We started scheduling time slots for defense attorneys in court in order to make more efficient use of everyone’s time. We became one of a handful of counties in the state to start Veterans Treatment Court, a way to help those who have sacrificed for our country find healing and recovery. We started Trial Court for District Court cases that are complicated or have numerous witnesses and cannot typically be heard during a regular session of District Court. I am always looking for ways to help our court system be more efficient and more effective, and I routinely meet with and work with other elected officials in order to do that.

As your District Attorney, I will continue to seek the death penalty when it is appropriate, and I will focus on violent criminals and repeat offenders. I will continue to work with law enforcement agencies to keep our community safe. I will continue to work closely with Dove House to make sure that those who abuse children are punished, and that the victims and their families can find justice.

What is important in this race is having someone in the office of District Attorney who has practiced law, particularly criminal law, as a prosecutor; someone who has the knowledge and the experience to effectively run an office committed to prosecuting criminals and getting justice for victims. It is important to have someone officers can call who has the knowledge and the experience in the courtroom to answer their questions and to work with them during investigations so that we can make the strongest cases possible. It is important to have someone who has had experience trying cases to advise the assistant district attorneys in the office, and I will continue to be that person.

While it is not within the prosecutor’s power to set, increase or reduce bonds, I will continue to argue to the Court for bonds appropriate for the crime committed and the circumstances of the case.

And while it is not within the prosecutor’s power to sentence defendants, I will continue to seek active sentences where appropriate and recommend suspended sentences if the situation warrants. In short, I will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the office, the court system and the community.

I have the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police because that organization knows that I work with, as well as support, law enforcement officers. I have the endorsement of other elected District Attorneys because they know that I work hard to protect my community. I have the endorsement of officers that I have worked with over the years because they have seen first-hand my knowledge, my ability and my commitment to prosecution. I am the candidate with the knowledge, the experience and the record to represent the citizens of Iredell and Alexander counties. It is truly an honor being the District Attorney, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve.

Sarah Kirkman is a candidate in the March 5 GOP primary election for District Attorney for Iredell and Alexander counties.

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