Dave Sunday (R) is the District Attorney for York County. He also boasts of drastic decreases in violent crimes in the past year. His priorities as Attorney General would be tackling the fentynal epidemic, the mental health crisis, violent crime, and protecting elders and children.

 

CLICK HERE to watch a full video interview with Dave Sunday

Click here to go to the main Attorney General article for interviews with all 7 candidates.

 

 

What is a short job description of the office of attorney general?

Sure. So similar in some ways of being elected D.A. When I'm asked that question, what I tell people is the Attorney General is the state's chief law enforcement officer. And so they're the highest lawyer in Pennsylvania with regard to law enforcement and many other things. And so that's the attorney general. They have a duty to keep our commonwealth safe and our community safe.

 

Why do you qualify to step into the role?

So I'm an elected district attorney in one of the largest counties in Pennsylvania. I have a long history of experience prosecuting in a courtroom, everything from murder trials to elder abuse cases to fraud and everything in between. And I've run a large district attorney's office. The attorney general works every single day with the district attorney's office.

The attorney general's office, they don't have their own court. And so they are every single day in the exact same courtrooms with the district attorneys across Pennsylvania in front of the exact same judges with the exact same set of laws. And so I've worked with the attorney general's office for a long time. I serve on the executive board of the District Attorney's Association.

In addition to that, I have a lot of initiatives that I've put in place as a chief law enforcement officer for a large county that has resulted in a decrease of crime a decrease in crime of 41%. It's resulted in a decrease in homicides in the city of York by 75% from 2022 to 23, and a decrease in gang violence by 80% during that same time period.

We also have a severe opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. That's been one of the main focuses of my time as elected D.A. and we've been able to decrease overdose deaths by 26%, whereas they've gone up 15% around the state. And so I would argue that of all the candidates, I by far have the most relevant experience. And I also have experience that has resulted in positive outcomes for our community.

 

What are your priorities if you take the office?

My priorities as attorney general would be first and foremost understanding that if our communities aren't safe, nothing else matters. And to begin with, my priorities would be the fentynal epidemic. They would be mental health— we have a severe mental health crisis in Pennsylvania. My priorities would be violent crime and protecting our elders and protecting our children.

 

What is something about the current administration you would change and/or keep the same?

Because I work with them so often and and I know the current attorney general— I mean, I consider her a friend. She's a longtime prosecutor. She used to be the district attorney for Bucks County. And so there are a lot of things that are done that are positive for the state. The way I look at offices, when you ask a question like that, I think that the the answer really is you build upon the work that everyone has done before you.

What I can say is that I would emphasize the fact that the attorney general's office does a lot of work in supporting local communities and fighting against drug traffickers. And I would do everything in my power to increase that support to all of our local communities, to provide them the expertize and assistance to be able to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers that are selling federal to people throughout all of our communities.

 

What do you have that your other primary candidates do not?

Well, I'm going to run in my entire campaign talking about my experience and my expertize and not discussing other candidates. What I can say very simply, is this. I'm the only candidate that has a track record of increasing public safety, decreasing opioid overdose deaths. And I'm the only candidate that has worked with the DA's all across Pennsylvania to do that and to work on these specific issues that we're talking about right now.

I'm the only candidate that has been in courtrooms prosecuting people for murder, prosecuting people for attempting to kill police officers, and prosecuting people first for stealing from our seniors. And so I would say that my specific experience sets me apart from any other candidate.

 

What is a topic/discussion point around the office of Attorney General and what is your take on it?

I mean, I'm not sure how to answer that. What I can say is, you know, when you look at Pennsylvania, and you look at all the crime in Pennsylvania and you look at what's impacting families the most, you can't have that conversation without acknowledging that the fentnyal crisis is tearing families apart. And when you combine that with the fact that we have so little mental health facilities for people that have severe mental health crises, you know, it's really created a situation in a disastrous situation for a commonwealth.

And that couldn't be more current. I mean, when you look across Pennsylvania and you know that over 5000 Pennsylvanians have died from overdose deaths, in particular fentynal, on average over the last few years, you can't walk away from that without understanding that that is the battle of the day. And I say that because regardless of anything else we do in our community with regard to business development, with regard to, you know, whatever it might be— if we are not safe, and if our children are not safe, then nothing else matters.

Because you cannot build a foundation upon something, upon a community, that is ravaged by drugs and crime. And that's not just in the inner cities. That's all across rural Pennsylvania. You know, I mean, look, the in York county, which is directly north of Baltimore, about half a million people, it's very rural. But in the very middle of it, we have we have we have York City, which is a very urban area. And so to that point, that's the make up of Pennsylvania. That's the make up of Pennsylvania. And if we ignore the hardest problems, they're not going to get better. And when I say the most difficult hardest problems, we're talking about addiction.

We're talking about mental health. And those are things that until we can get that fixed and get it straightened out, then we're never going to be able to move forward as a community.