Hamilton County District Attorney Candidates Exchange Disagreements in Debate

The East Brainerd Kiwanis Club hosted a debate Tuesday night for the two candidates in the upcoming Republican Primary for Hamilton County District Attorney. Incumbent Neal Pinkston sqaured off with challenger Coty Wamp.

No electoral candidate will ever see eye-to-eye with their opponent. This was definitely seen as Wamp and Pinkston verbally exchanged several disagreements on everything from local law enforcement relations to staff management to the role of D.A., itself.

Pinkston and Wamp share several disagreements. A key one can be found in the future of the county’s cold case unit. Under Pinkston, it’s solved more than 20 homicides. Under Wamp, it would be replaced with a Gang and Violent Crime Unit.

Coty Wamp said, “I want my Gang and Violent Crime Unit to have dedicated, post-certified law enforcement officers. I also believe it should have at least 50 percent African Americans. Why? Because this unit is going to be in the inner city communities dealing with African Americans.”

Wamp also expressed her drive to immediately designate a prosecutor for child sex abuse cases, saying it’s one of her most passionate platforms.

Coty Wamp added, “On September 1, I will pick an assistant district attorney to go to the into the children’s advocate center. Their office is already there waiting on them, they’re begging for help. They need a partner in the D.A.’s office and it needs to be a specific person. That is coming back in September.”

However, Pinkston wasn’t impressed by any of Wamp’s words or plans of action. Throughout the debate, he called her out for speaking “false comments” and even spoke against her litigation experience.

Neal Pinkston said, “My opponent only has seven prior jury trails. If I were to hire her in my office today, she would be one of the least experienced prosecutors in the entire office.”

In Pinkston’s closing remarks, he let his eight-year tenure as D.A. speak for itself, saying he is the “only qualified prosecutor in the race.”

Neal Pinkston said, “It’s very important for the elected District Attorney to have litigation experience. I have almost 20 years of it, somewhere between 70 and 100 jury trials and a minimum 35 homicide trials.”

Wamp said her election would bring in “new generational leadership” along with stronger consequences to those who break the law. She added that if residents just want more of the same, vote for Pinkston.

Coty Wamp said, “Again, if you want status quo, don’t vote for me. If you want to see a vocal district attorney that’s going to be in this county caring for people on a daily basis, please support me.”

Wamp made it apparent from the podium tonight that she wants to “rebuild and reinforce the relationship between the D.A. and law enforcement.”

Pinkston commented that many of her plans seemed politically motivated and that, if re-elected, he would remain “a prosecutor, not a politician.”

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