Candidate profile: Tom Gibbons

NAME: Tom Gibbons

AGE: 46

IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Wife Lori, two sons Jackson and Shane, and three rescue dogs - Bosco, Priscilla and Raylan

OCCUPATION: State's Attorney - criminal prosecutor


PREVIOUS ELECTED POSITION: None, prior to State's Attorney

Why are you running for this office?

I have dedicated my career to holding criminals accountable, and I am honored to serve the citizens of Madison County as their State's Attorney

What do you believe qualifies you to be state's attorney?

I have over 15 years’ experience as a criminal prosecutor, and have tried hundreds of trials and put thousands of criminals behind bars. In 2012, I created the Violent Crimes Unit, which has a 100 percent conviction rate in murder trials.

What would be your top priority upon being elected or re-elected?

Creation of a Public Integrity Investigation Unit to investigate and prosecute public corruption cases.

As state's attorney, how would you address the ongoing issue of heroin trafficking and abuse?

Working together with law enforcement, educators, treatment providers and community stakeholders, the Heroin Task Force now works in conjunction with the Partnership For Drug-Free Communities. We are dedicated to implementing a three-prong approach to the heroin and opiate overdose crisis. This strategy confronts the problem through increased treatment, education and enforcement efforts throughout our community.

There has been some discussion in this race about the value of plea bargains vs. going to trial on major felonies. How do you feel these cases should best be handled?

We work together with law enforcement and crime victims to build the best possible cases for prosecution and trial. Because of the outstanding work of our local law enforcement investigators, defendants often exercise their legal right to plead guilty without a plea agreement, choosing instead to be sentenced by a judge. This represents a victory for the community and brings much needed closure and justice for victims, as well as eliminating the need for trials in many cases. When determining whether or not to offer a negotiated plea, each case must be evaluated on its own merits. Prosecutors must consider the strength of the evidence, the wishes of victims and possible hardship they may face at trial, and the criminal record of the defendant.

Why should the voters elect you?

I am a prosecutor and my wife Lori is a police sergeant. We are a law and order family and have dedicated our careers to serving our community and fighting for justice for the people of Madison County.