Forsyth County District Legal professional Jim O’Neill seeks to unseat incumbent AG Josh Stein. The race is heating up. | Native Information

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Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill seeks to unseat incumbent AG Josh Stein. The race is heating up. | Local News

It’s not fair or realistic, he said, to make law-enforcement officers deal with a range of situations that they were not trained for. Stein cites his participation in Gov. Roy Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity and Criminal Justice as an example of one of the ways in which he is seeking changes in the criminal justice system. 

“I value law enforcement and think we (should) invest more to make it a more attractive profession,” Stein said. “At the same time, I want law enforcement to do better. Those two ideas do not conflict.”

Stein has gotten endorsements from a group of sheriffs and district attorneys, including Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. O’Neill said he has gotten endorsed by the Police Benevolent Association, N.C. Highway Patrol and the Fraternal Order of Police. 

If re-elected, Stein said he would continue efforts to make sure rape kits are tested, fight consumer fraud and robocalls and battle opioid addition. 

“I have the right experience and I have demonstrated that I can lead,” he said. 

O’Neill said he is the only candidate who has spent years prosecuting criminal cases. His priority as attorney general is defending state laws (he said Stein failed to fight for Voter ID, even though voters approved a constitutional amendment on it) and implementing some of the programs he put in place in Forsyth County. That includes a program called Susan Frye’s District Attorney’s Treatment Alternative Initiative. The program is named after former clerk of court Susan Frye, who has since retired.