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Crofford leads prosecutor race

May 12, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Longtime Jefferson County prosecutor Larry Crofford was leading his opponent in Tuesday's Democratic primary race for Berkeley County prosecutor.The winner will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

With 46 of the county's 59 precincts reporting, Crofford was leading Thomas Stanley 2,002 votes to 1,268.

If he holds his lead, in November Crofford will face incumbent prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely, who was the only Republican seeking the seat.

Crofford, 55, of Martinsburg, has worked as an assistant prosecutor in Jefferson County for the last 14 years. In that time he has lost just three times, he has said.

Crofford has been practicing law for 21 years, and moved to the Eastern Panhandle 17 years ago.

If elected, Crofford has said he wants to instill a higher degree of professionalism by forming a better relationship with the staff. He hopes to use grants to pay for more specialized training for the assistant prosecutors.

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He also plans to hold training seminars for police officers on a regular basis.

Stanley, 57, of Gerrardstown, has worked in the Berkeley County public defender's office since 1998. Before that, for 21/2 years he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Charleston, W.Va., seizing drugs and property from drug dealers. One year he obtained $1.6 million, he said. If elected, Stanley said he hopes to expedite cases. He said a year should not pass between the time a felon first appears in court for a preliminary hearing and the time he is indicted. Prosecutors are elected for four-year terms and make $83,600.

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