As highly contested political races near election day, generally the mud comes out: motives are questioned and integrity is challenged.
As an outside observer of the Madera County District Attorney race who personally has served in the United States Army Reserves with Paul Hornick in the months leading up to his announcement to run for office, I feel compelled to provide a brief description of my perspective on what motivated him to run.
Paul and I are both prosecutors with busy caseloads that we balance with our military obligations. During the weekends of military service, I would often talk to Paul about our civilian jobs.
In 2017, Paul identified numerous dilemmas that confronted Madera County DA’s Office. They were experiencing distractions, including investigations of their elected DA that were impeding mission accomplishment. They had old systems in place for processing and tracking cases that would often lead to delays. They were not working with law enforcement agencies during the investigative phase of cases. And the list went on.
What struck me about Paul was that he wasn’t just complaining. Instead, as he learned early in his military career, whenever Paul identified a problem, he offered solutions. He had a solution for every problem confronting the DA’s Office except for one: Madera County needed a new District Attorney; however, no one within his office was willing to run. Paul also felt that none of the candidates who were considering running at the time would be willing to make the changes that the DA’s office so desperately needed.
I was with Paul when the light bulb went off in his head and duty called. I can distinctly remember Paul saying, “I am going to have to do this.” Based on all the proceeding discussions, it was clear that the decision wasn’t about Paul. He was motivated to enter the DA’s race to make the office a more efficient tool for justice. And that was the only reason.
If in the coming days this race becomes personal and Paul’s motives for running for elected office are questioned, please consider this personal account of what really caused him to run. He isn’t doing this for a higher salary or for recognition or praise. He has joined the race because he believes that he can immediately improve the inefficiencies that he has already identified within the office and he sees it as his duty to do so.