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‘Goals met … time to bow out:’ Deschutes DA Hummel won’t seek a third term

(Update: adding video, more comments from Hummel)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Next year, Deschutes County voters will select a new district attorney. Two-term DA John Hummel announced Monday he will not seek reelection.

"Do I want to do it for another term?” Hummel told NewsChannel 21. “Or is it time to bow out and support the next person who comes in the door? And I decided it was time to bow out."

Hummel said his decision has nothing to do with any higher positional aspirations.

"This is solely about that the fact that I've felt the goals that I set for this office have been met," he said.

He said his first goal was improving the efficiency of the district attorney's office. His second was working on solving the root causes of crime.

"Moving this office upstream, into the world of prevention -- we've made great strides in that area," Hummel said.

Despite holding a nonpartisan position, Hummel uses his platform to weigh in on a number of political and social issues

"If I see injustices happening, I feel it's my duty to stand up and speak out," he said.

He said he doesn't want to be like other elected officials, who stay too long.

"I think there's value in having new opinions in government, new ideas,” Hummel said. “I would like to think most of my opinions were pretty darn good, but I'm also smart enough to know I don't have all the answers."

While he is interested in the open U.S. attorney position for the state of Oregon, he said it has nothing to do with him stepping aside. He says he does not have any plans for to run for any other office yet.

"My term goes 16 more months,” Hummel said. “You try to apply to a job and get a offer and say, 'Hey, can I start in 17 months?' -- they're going to laugh at you. So it's too soon for me to lock down my next career goal."

Hummel said while's not trying to "tee anyone up" to succeed him, he's sure there will be many qualified candidates seeking the position.


Here's the original story and news release:

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel announced to his office Monday morning that he will not seek re-election to a third-term. 

Hummel’s current, second four-year term runs through the end of 2022.  Absent a November run-off, the election in May of 2022 will decide who takes office in January of 2023 as Deschutes County’s next district attorney.

In Hummel’s announcement to his office, he highlighted the successes they achieved together over the last seven years. He also told staff it was a “difficult decision” not to seek a third term and gave a bit more detail regarding his reasons why.

“I’m a firm believer in the value of fresh ideas in government,” he wrote. “I think that my ideas and leadership have helped improve the performance of our office (you and the public will be the ultimate judge of this), and at the same time, I know that my way is not necessarily the only way. There is value in considering new ideas, philosophies, and leadership styles.”

Some of the successes he called out were the development of innovative programs to keep our community safe by preventing crime and incarceration (the Emerging Adult Program that provides targeted services to people ages 18-24 in the criminal justice system; the Clean Slate program to provide people suspected of possessing drugs with primary care doctors instead of prosecution; and the Veterans’ Intervention Strategy that provides targeted services for veterans in the criminal justice system); advocating for and achieving long prison sentences for the few people for whom prison is the only option to keep our community safe; and providing excellent legal services in the approximately 50,000 cases the office handled during his tenure.

As for his own post-DA future, "I am not sure what comes next for my own career," said Hummel, a former Bend city councilor and defense attorney. "It's too soon for me to lock down on 2023 career options. I remain interested in the U.S. Attorney position, but my decision to forgo re-election has nothing to do with that potential nomination."

Hummel also issued this statement to the residents of Deschutes County:

“Serving as your district attorney has been a privilege and an honor. Every morning, when I walk the three flights up to my office, I think about the important work that my colleagues in your DA’s office and I have to do that day for the people of Deschutes County. During my final 16 months in office, I’ll continue to work tirelessly to ensure that justice is done daily. Thank you for allowing me to represent you.”

KTVZ news sources

Comments

39 Comments

  1. Made my day, although it’s still a long way off til this guy leaves town. Arrogant to think he qualified for a US attorney position. He’s more equipped as council for BLM, antifa, or CO peace creepers.

  2. We have yet to see an official metrics report for any of the “new” programs mentioned.

    All show, no go.

    The “peacekeepers” will lose the unethical protection Hummel has shown them and that should be interesting the next time one of them is arrested.

    And local law enforcement will be rid of an obstructionist who knows as much about police work as Ted Wheeler in Portland does.

    Adios, goodbye, and good riddance.

  3. Finally, some good news! Personally I believe he should step down immediately and be relieved of his duties immediately. Too many questionable decisions, conflicts of interest and he now has blood on his hands. Our community needs someone who will protect and support the community as a whole.

    1. One had to wonder who finally “woke” him enough to finally realize he was in over his head and his inability to properly prosecute cases rather than just making press conferences was his undoing. Now we need a strong DA who will
      focus on their current job and not looking for their next step up the chain!

  4. Hummel like many other DA’s in our country today have missed the mark. District Attorney’s are in a position of authority to defend and protect law-abiding citizens. STOP voting for those humans operate primarily on emotions and NOT facts. This guy has acted more like a community organizer than a prosecutor.
    We need to take our County back and vote principled individuals into this position.
    Semper Fi’

  5. Would be nice to get someone in this postion who would actually know what the postion is for. I’m afraid Bend is too far down the yellow brick road for that.

  6. No elected official should serve more than two terms in any single office, anyway. It is arrogance to believe that an individual qualified for public office. The Supreme Court should have term limits or at least mandatory retirement age. When JFK said, “The torch has been passed to a new generation,” it was, I’m certain, intended as a relay, not a marathon. Or as Bill Moyers said, “It is not power that corrupts but the fear of losing it.”

  7. It’s really sad that bend has turned totally liberal and it doesn’t matter who gets in that position it will always be a democrat liberal who’s ideas are not quite what we want. The libs voted him in and they will vote another one just like him into the position he has. Sorry Deschutes county it’s sad but true but liberals have took over and that’s all that will be elected. Enjoy your liberal reality Deschutes county because that’s what we have let these people turn this county into is a bunch of liberal democrats that will control every aspect of our lives

  8. Best local news I’ve heard all month! Hopefully, Hummel can hum right out of Orygone and retire in the far reaches of Alaska where he can do no harm.

  9. Every single person complaining on here about the DA is going to complain about the next one, because it’s easy to do and a job they wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy. You people are delusional.

    1. It’s delusional to think that a DA should enforce the law? He chose to run for the position and won. It didn’t get wished on him by anyone. His track record sucks and he does not support the rule of law or our men and women in uniform.

  10. Really 99?

    Read the article. “Solve the root cause of crime”

    His words not mine.

    1. Greed.
    2. Power.
    3. Drugs.

    He is guilty of the first two, and supports the 3rd.

    There are great DA’s in this state. He is not one of them. Not even close.

  11. Who cares?

    Face the fact Deschutes County has joined the rest of California and has for ever loss what made it a great place to live and raise a family. Hummel will be replaced by a ever more liberal crowd of ungrounded Karens, homelessness and crime.

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