Jeff Cruden Responds to Mailer Questioning his Party Affiliation

Jeff Cruden responded in an email to supporters regarding his party affiliation in the wake of a mailer sent out by the Bryant for DA campaign noting Cruden’s recent party switch from Democrat to Republican.

The email reads:

Recently, my opponent called into question my conservative values and dedication to the Republican Party in a very misleading campaign mailer. I feel it’s important to set the record straight in my own words, and to provide a few facts about my opponent that he conveniently failed to mention in the negative mail piece he released against me.

As most of you know, I am a native of Raleigh. I was raised by my grandmother, who like many of her generation, was a FDR Democrat. When I turned 18, I too registered as a Democrat. However, I have always been a Conservative, both fiscally and socially…

In 1996, I joined the Wake County District Attorney’s Office under Democrat, Colon Willoughby. For 18 years, Colon served as my employer and mentor. During that time, it was important to me and many of my colleagues, to be able to vote for Colon, specifically in primary elections, something that was only possible if registered as a Democrat. However, in order to more accurately reflect my conservative ideology, I felt it was necessary to change my registration to Republican. For clarification, this change was made prior to any decision by Colon to step down from his post as District Attorney, or any decision on my part to run for the open seat.

Why would my opponent be so misleading? It’s simple. He has no experience on which to run for this position. While I bring over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor, with the support of law enforcement and victims/victims’ families, my opponent has no experience as a criminal prosecutor and zero endorsements from law enforcement or victims/victims’ families. I’ve prosecuted hundreds of violent felonies including murder and tried 5 capital murder cases, my opponent has never tried a capital murder case, nor has he prosecuted violent felonies or murder. It’s clear, this is a matter of experience. I have the experience to be the next Wake County District Attorney. My opponent does not, so he is diverting attention away from the message of “experience does matter.”

I do find it both interesting and hypocritical that my opponent would question my change in Party affiliation as he, too, was once a registered Democrat. He wasn’t just registered as a Democrat, he ran for the North Carolina Senate as a Democrat and only changed his Party affiliation after losing in the Democrat Primary. Had he won the Democrat Primary, and subsequently won the General Election, my opponent could be representing us right now in the NC Senate, and would have done so during the administrations of Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue….

So, when questioning Party loyalty and dedication, and the journey of how both my opponent and I came into the Republican fold, I encourage you to take the time to review the history and the facts. Don’t rely on negative and misleading campaign mailers.

In closing, please know that I am ever-grateful to the Republican Party for welcoming me without question or hesitation. As the Wake GOP continues to expand, and subsequently embraces new members with diverse backgrounds, I look forward to representing the Party in the position of Wake County District Attorney.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.