Brackett wants to retain post as prosecutor

Kevin Brackett wants to continue running the office that puts criminals behind bars.

Brackett, who was appointed 16th Circuit solicitor in late 2006, announced Monday plans to run for the office he's held for more than a year.

No one else has publicly said they'd run for the office that covers York and Union counties.

"People entrust the solicitor with so much power," Brackett said. "It's been a privilege for me to serve York and Union counties for 16 years."

Brackett started in the office in 1991 and served as deputy solicitor to Tommy Pope from 1995 to 2006. Pope resigned after 13 years as solicitor, and Brackett was appointed solicitor by Gov. Mark Sanford.

"He's been with the office from the beginning, and he knows what works and what doesn't," Pope said Monday. "I think he's in a good position to keep the office moving forward."

At Thi's Place in Rock Hill, Pope, state Rep. Carl Gullick, R-Lake Wylie; York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant and representatives from other law enforcement agencies backed Brackett.

"You can see from the law enforcement support in the room that he's doing his job," Bryant said. "He's been a prosecutor as long as he'd been a lawyer, so he's always been on the good guy's side."

If elected, Brackett wants to work on managing the consequences of growth, dealing with juvenile offenders before they become adult offenders and combating gangs in the two counties, he said.

Brackett said he wants to continue be a voice for victims. In July, he added a Spanish-speaking victim's advocate.

He also started a Worthless Check Unit last month to help businesses track bad debts. He also wants to make the criminal justice system more understandable to the public, he said.

Recently, however, York Police Chief Bill Mobley questioned Brackett's abilities during a dispute over the investigation of a Sept. 11 gang-related killing. Brackett said York police botched the investigation and asked the State Law Enforcement Division to assist. Mobley said the solicitor's office aided York police with the investigation, and the chief asked the state attorney general's office to try the case.

They've since resolved their differences and a state grand jury indicted a suspect last week.

The 16th Circuit rates high in swift prosecution, conviction rates and people incarcerated per capita in the state, Brackett said. He attributes some of this success to the office's staff.

Brackett lives in Fort Mill with his wife, Susan, and 5-year-old daughter, Molly. Filing for June 10 primary will be March 17 through 31.