Barton to become DA six months early
Kevin Barton will become Washington County district attorney six months early.
Gov. Kate Brown appointed Barton — the winner of a contentious May 15 primary against Max Wall — to succeed Bob Hermann, who did not seek re-election. Hermann is retiring after nearly 20 years as the district attorney, and a total of 42 years in the office.
Barton's appointment takes effect Sunday, July 1, after Hermann officially retires.
Barton, the chief deputy district attorney, defeated Wall, 68 percent to 32 percent, in a campaign that set a spending record of $1.2 million.
Wall spent $823,000 — most of it funneled through the Law & Justice Political Action Committee, based in Washington, D.C., and listed in the name of political consultant Whitney Tymas — and Barton $427,000, according to the Oregon secretary of state's campaign finance website.
The Washington, D.C. PAC contributed $680,000 to the Oregon Law & Justice PAC, which paid for services to Wall's campaign. The Washington PAC did not file a disclosure with the state.
Their chief arguments were over policy — Wall favored more alternatives to imprisonment, as supported by the Oregon Partnership for Safety and Justice, which has received money from philanthropist George Soros — and Wall's qualifications to be DA in Oregon's second most populous county. Wall had been a prosecutor in Polk County for eight years before he came to private practice in Beaverton in 2014.
Barton, 40, has worked in the DA's office since 2007 except for a six-month stint in 2012. He was previously a lawyer in the Portland firm of Bullivant Houser Bailey. He earned his bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Barton's elected four-year term will start Jan. 2.