Warren County and Van Buren County voters have reached their verdict.
Chris Stanford was elected to an eight-year term to serve as District Attorney General for the 31st District on Thursday night.
Stanford beat incumbent Lisa Zavogiannis with 58.5% of the vote in the two counties. Stanford won big in Warren County with 5,151 votes to 3,566 for Zavogiannis. That amounts to 58.2%.
Stanford also won Van Buren County by a 1,078 vote to 905 margin.
During the campaign, Stanford sought to portray Zavogiannis as soft on crime and vowed to take more cases to trial and negotiate tougher plea bargains for criminals. He reiterated that stance Thursday night after the election results were finalized.
“In getting out and talking with people, and I firmly believe this myself, people want more accountability for drug dealers,” said Stanford. “I believe they need to be in prison instead of getting a six-month sentence in the county jail. The longer they are locked up, especially if they are violent criminals with guns, the longer our community is safe and I’m going to work to put them away for as long as a judge will agree with me.”
Stanford said one of his first steps will be on improving communication between his office and law enforcement.
Zavogiannis was elected twice and served 16 years as District Attorney General.