Jeff Cruden, a senior assistant district attorney in the Wake County District Attorney office, has decided to enter the race as a Republican candidate. Jeff brings proven prosecutorial experience to the office, having been tried some of the most serious cases in Wake County’s recent history, including high profile felony driving while impaired offenses, death penalty cases, and violent crimes.
For years, Cruden served on the Dangerous Offender Task Force, where he prosecuted repeat offenders. Before that he was one of the founding members of the offices’s Special Victims Unit which prosecutes all sex offense cases and felony child abuse cases.
Cruden now serves as a screening DA where he makes decisions about which cases can be resolved in District Court, and which should be indicted and sent to Superior Court for prosecution. That role is almost like an administrative role in which the prosecutor has to deal with a very high volume of cases in order to select the ones that deserve added scrutiny.
Most defense lawyers I’ve spoken to have said Jeff has done a particularly good job in this role, as he recognizes that every prosecutor’s office has limited resources, and that the resolution of cases in an efficient manner that respects the ends of justice requires smart thinking about which cases deserve indictment and which low level felonies can be resolved early in the process.
According to his bio posted on that page, “[u]pon completion of high school, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. In his seven years of military service, he made two Mediterranean Sea deployments aboard the U.S.S. Independence (CV-62) and one Indian Ocean deployment aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal (CV-59). While assigned to the U.S.S. Independence, he participated in Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada) and supported combat air missions off the coast of Lebanon after the bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut. Jeff attended Old Dominion University and Saint Leo College in Norfolk, VA and earned a BA in Business Administration while on active duty. After completion of his military service, he attended law school at Campbell University and graduated in 1993.”
UPDATE: Jeff Cruden has filed to organize his campaign committee, with defense lawyer Lee Turner as his treasurer.