Attorney Todd Williams challenges Buncombe D.A. Ron Moore

District Attorney candidate Todd Williams. Photo from his campaign website.

Local defense attorney Todd Williams will challenge longtime Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore in the May 6 Democratic primary.

“The Office of District Attorney should be renowned for its fairness and integrity in pursuit of justice. In seeking justice, the office must safeguard the rights and reputations of the innocent,” Williams said in an official announcement of his candidacy. “To regain this reputation and trust, we need new leadership that will demonstrate the highest degree of integrity and professionalism. I offer to provide that leadership.”

In the statement on his campaign website, Williams criticizes Moore, citing the district attorney’s refusal to release audits of missing evidence (something a number of local newspapers, including Xpress, sued his office for unsuccessfully) and the 2011 overturning of two 2000 murder convictions after an investigation by the N.C. Innocence Commission.

“These events have tarnished the public perception of the openness of the Office of District Attorney,” Williams said in his statement. “That perception harms our criminal justice system.

“The most pressing need in our criminal justice system is the need for new leadership in the office of district attorney,” the statement continues. “We need to rebuild public trust, increase consistency, and increase professionalism. I am ready to step up and deliver that new leadership.”

Williams has 15 years’ experience as a defense attorney, including serving as a public defender for nine years locally. He filed in Raleigh (a requirement for District Attorney candidates) earlier this morning.

As of late last week, the race for one of the most powerful local offices was still unclear, as no candidates had filed. But last Friday Moore, who has occupied the office for 24 years filed to run for a seventh term. He made no announcement and did not return earlier calls from Xpress seeking comment on running for reelection.

Last week, Buncombe County Republican Party Chair Henry Mitchell told Xpress he wasn’t aware of any GOP contenders for the District Attorney’s job, though that might change, and the party is instead focusing on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and state General Assembly races.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.