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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 6:57 am | Fair 39º


Josh Lynn Announces Run for District Attorney in 2010

The Santa Barbara native has served as a deputy district attorney for 14 years

In spite of the rain, a hearty group of supporters turned out Wednesday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to stand behind Deputy District Attorney Josh Lynn as he announced he will run in next year’s race for district attorney.

Lynn made his announcement a month after he was endorsed by District Attorney Christie Stanley, over another candidate from the same office, Joyce Dudley. Stanley’s endorsement stirred the political pot and came just a week after Dudley announced she would run for the seat.

Lynn is a Santa Barbara native and has served as a deputy district attorney for 14 years. This summer, Lynn prosecuted the Jesse James Hollywood murder trial, as well as the case of Leanna Patricia Arzate, who kidnapped a newborn from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in February. She was sentenced two weeks ago to 11 years in prison.

The first to speak in support of Lynn on Wednesday was Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department detective Rod Forney, who lauded Lynn’s recent conviction of Hollywood.

“Even though it took nine years to get him into custody and trial, Josh won a first-degree murder conviction on that case, bringing closure to the victim’s family and friends,” Forney said. “He’s always been a friend of law enforcement, and dedicated to the safety of our community,” adding that Lynn had experience as an administrator in addition to his record as a prosecutor.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Lee Hanson also spoke, and has worked with Lynn since he started as an intern just out of law school. 

Lynn passed the bar, Hanson said, but there were no open positions in the office at that point, so Lynn volunteered to work for free.

“Finally I said to him, ‘Josh, are you getting tired of working for nothing?’” Hanson said. “He said, ‘As long as it takes,’ and I said to myself at that point, ‘This is a guy who’s going to stick.’ He was just outstanding from the very beginning.”

When Lynn was hired, he worked in the domestic violence unit and later for the three-strikes unit.

Hanson has worked in the office for 15 years, first as chief trial deputy and then as assistant district attorney to DAs Tom Sneddon, Pat McKinley and now Stanley.

“I have a good idea of the unrelenting pressure-oriented decisions that the DA is required to make on a weekly basis,” Hanson said. “It really is a pressure cooker,” adding that Lynn was an “outstanding decision maker.”

Hanson is one of a cadre of legal heavyweights supporting Lynn, including Sneddon, McKinley, Stanley and North County Chief Assistant District Attorney Gene Martinez.

When Lynn addressed Wednesday’s audience, he began by saying he was a fiscal conservative, meaning “that I’m a realist.” He said he would fight to keep officers on the streets and attorneys in the courtroom.

Lynn said he has worked to keep the attorneys he supervises safe from impending layoffs. “My office is more than just another county department. ... We have been very successful, but the fight continues,” he said.

Touting his record with career criminals, gang members, domestic abusers, murderers and perpetrators “of every crime imaginable,” Lynn said he can handle the pressure of such a high office. “Securing some of this county’s most complex, high-profile cases, I can deal with the pressure that goes along with that,” he said.

Lynn’s wife, Deedee, and their two children, Lucia and Jesse, stood beside him Wednesday as he spoke.

“As a native of this county, I jealously guard the ability I enjoyed as a child growing up here, to be free from violence and gangs,” he said. “I understand more than ever that ensuring public safety must be the first obligation of my office and the first obligation of local government.”

When Lynn was asked what distinguished his candidacy from Dudley’s, he said his experience sets him apart.

“I have a broader experience in court, with domestic violence cases, gang cases, homicide cases,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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