By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - Lisa Richards was elected as the next Dickinson County Prosecuting Attorney.
Richards, the Republican candidate, received 7,375 votes or 59.4 percent to Democrat Daniel F. Anderson's 4,996 votes or 40.24 percent.
Richards, a full-time assistant prosecutor for the county since 2001, said she couldn't be happier with the election results.
"It's been a long and arduous process, but worth every minute of it. I'd like to thank Mr. Anderson for conducting a well-run and hard-fought campaign. I wish him the best of luck," she said. "I'm most grateful to the voters of this county and to the many friends and supporters without whom I wouldn't be here. Words cannot express my profound gratitude for your love and support."
Richards added she is looking forward to getting to work as Dickinson County Prosecuting Attorney on Jan. 2.
Richards discovered her calling to be a prosecutor during a law school internship at the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. Following law school, she served as an assistant prosecutor in Michigan's Wayne and Jackson counties.
"When I moved to Iron Mountain, I fell in love with the area and the people and I met my husband, Mike, in 2005," she said.
Richards is currently serving her third year on the Bishop Baraga Catholic School Education Commission and is also an active member of both American Martyrs Catholic Church and the Dickinson Area Ultreya Community.
"I've been a member of the Prosecuting Attorney's Association of Michigan since 2000 and have been awarded two prosecution service awards. I've also attended hundreds of hours of specialized prosecution training," she said.
Richards is also a member of the Caring House Board of Directors and have handled a large percentage of the area's domestic violence and sexual assault cases as assistant prosecutor. In 2007, she revised the law enforcement segment of the county's domestic violence protocol.
"I've spent the majority of my legal career protecting the rights of crime victims and, in particular, giving our most vulnerable citizens, our children and the elderly, a voice," she said. "Prosecution is a special kind of legal career. It takes years to build collaborative relationships with law enforcement and to gain the experience and skills needed to prosecute cases effectively. Though it's been challenging at times, I've never considered a different legal career. That's because being a prosecutor isn't just a job to me; it's a passion."
Anderson thanked his supporters, his wife, family, and friends.
"I met a lot of nice people, and I wish Dickinson County the best of luck," he said. "I made a lot of good friends and it was definitely a life experience."
Anderson, a former assistant prosecutor and attorney in Iron Mountain for past 13 years, will continue to practice as a defense attorney in Dickinson County.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.