Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower is seeking reelection as the Republican nominee in the May 16 primary.
“It would be an honor to continue serving as district attorney for the people of Fayette County,” Bower said. “The team effort between my office and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies has obtained justice for many thousands of victims and their families.”
He named effective coordination with law enforcement as one key reason he earned endorsements from the Pennsylvania State Fraternal Order of Police, the South-West Regional Fraternal Order of Police and the Fayette County Constables’ Association.
He said his administration will continue to be approachable and accessible to members of the community, victims and their families, witnesses, and all levels of law enforcement.
Bower said justice begins with a criminal investigation and gathering evidence, noting he has personally investigated violent crime and assisted law enforcement agencies regarding homicide, kidnapping, rape, and more.
“It’s not an eight-hour-a-day job, it’s 24/7,” Bower said.
He explained that during his tenure as DA, the criminal justice system has become far more structured and efficient in ways which benefit defendants, victims, witnesses, and other participants.
“House arrest is often ordered for non-violent offenders to ease the burden on the Fayette County Prison,” Bower said. “We see over 3,000 cases per year in the Court of Common Pleas, and today some of those cases are handled in drug court, mental health court, or veterans court, which accelerates the entire legal process for both defendants and victims.”
A decade ago, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) cases could last up to a year, Bower said. Now, ARDs and fast track pleas are reviewed and typically completed in less than 45 days.
“Going forward, we can further streamline trials and reduce judges’ workloads, and continue to schedule in advance major trials such as homicide and sexual assault, so most cases can be handled quickly,” Bower said.
Regarding safety and security in the community, Bower said his administration has provided funding for police departments in municipalities such as Connellsville, Uniontown, Redstone Township and Masontown.
“We have helped local law enforcement purchase the equipment, vehicles and training they need to effectively police their communities, as well as establish a county gun range for law enforcement training purposes,” he said.
A life-long resident of Fayette County, Bower attended Connellsville Senior High School and served honorably in the U.S. Air Force, where he received two air medals for meritorious service for his country.
“My time in the military taught me the value of serving others and serving my country. Today my acts of service are to protect the people of Fayette County by prosecuting criminals who harm our families, friends, and neighbors,” Bower said.
After his military service, Bower received a bachelor’s degree at Penn State followed by a law degree from George Washington University School of Law in 1982. Bower then opened his own law practice, which he operated while raising two children as a single father. He also served for over six years as both assistant district attorney and first trial assistant district attorney prior to being elected DA in 2015.
He is also a member of Pennsville Baptist Church.
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