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Q&A: Skye Gess, Candidate for Solicitor General

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    Skye Gess

What makes you an ideal candidate for the job?

My experience, commitment to upholding the law, and passion make me an ideal candidate. The duties of a Solicitor General are to prosecute misdemeanor offense and local ordinance violations for Baldwin County. Since 2013, I have been a prosecutor here in Baldwin County and was trained and mentored by two amazing District Attorneys, Fredric Bright and Stephen Bradley. Through the training and preparation I received as an Assistant District Attorney, I was ready on day one to work as your Solicitor General. I believe working as a prosecutor is a calling and not a job. I am a leader you can trust to continue to work tirelessly to keep Baldwin County safe and ensure everyone is treated equally before the law.

If it was up to you, would the Solicitor General’s race be non-partisan and free of an “R” or a “D” beside each candidate’s name. Also, how would you ensure voters that you will represent all of the citizens of Baldwin County?

I represent and work for all citizens of Baldwin County regardless of any ones political beliefs. I believe the position of Solicitor General should be non-partisan. My mentor, former District Attorney Fredric Bright, instilled a guiding principal I follow every day, “always do the right thing.” As Solicitor, I have an open door policy because it is important to listen, understand, and work with citizens and community leaders. The prosecution of cases is not always straight forward. It is important to have open lines of communication with the community, victims, defense attorneys, and when appropriate, even defendants themselves. Additionally, I am actively involved in community outreach programs. As Solicitor, I continued to expand our teen dating violence awareness programs and domestic violence awareness programs.

There have been two domestic-related murders in Milledgeville in the last three months. How can we best curtail domestic violence in this county and limit the heartache?

Losing someone to domestic violence is a tragedy that creates a ripple effect throughout our community. It is important to education people about warning signs and what to do if someone experiences domestic violence. As Solicitor, I speak with churches, civic groups, and students about the dangers of domestic violence. Each year during my term, I taught our middle and high school students about the dangers of dating violence, building positive self-esteem, and how to form a health relationship. Additionally, my office continues In Our Best Interest, a women’s support group, started by Mrs. Maxine Blackwell, to help women break the cycle of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; please join me in wearing a purple ribbon to take a stand against domestic violence.

What’s your general stance on criminal justice reform in the United States, a nation that possesses both the highest incarceration rate on earth and the most guns per capita on earth?

I believe it is important to actively engage in communication about our criminal justice system as a whole and on the local level. While it is important to protect our community from violent criminals and repeat offenders, I understand we have a duty to provide a path forward for those who have made mistakes and want to help themselves. As Solicitor, I expanded our pretrial diversion program for youthful and first time offenders, which uses a variety of programs and tools to help our youth get back on track. Additionally, I utilize and work with the mental health and drug court program as a resource for misdemeanor crimes. By working with this alternative court system, people will be held accountable while they receive needed treatment.