March 31, 2023

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Sarah Hacker was the unofficial winner of the Kings County district attorney’s race with 6,548 votes, or 57.95%.

She handily beat incumbent Keith Fagundes, who pulled 4,751votes, or 42.05%.

Hacker made history with the win, becoming the first female district attorney in Kings County history.

“I am thankful for the support of the voters, and will bring justice to the county,” Hacker said Tuesday night, as election returns came in. 

Her platform “Justice for All” was key for voter Scott Ventling, who said “I believe she will make a difference.”

“My strengths lie in the law; I am committed to our constitution,” Hacker said in May. “My job is going to be executing the law.”

With the extensive agriculture in Kings County, Hacker also emphasized the importance of placing an investigator on the rural crimes unit. 

“I have a lot of confidence in our law enforcement being able to crack down on these agricultural thefts, and part of that effort in doing so is going to be assigning a DA investigator to the rural crimes unit,” Hacker said.  “These investigators are peace officers whose primary purpose is to assist in the prosecution of crimes,” she continued.

Hacker said the dedicated investigator would help ensure that investigations are properly done, and would act as an ambassador for the District Attorney’s Office.

“I think we need to retool the office so that we have a better connection with victims to ensure we get the adequate receipts and invoices to put them in a place they were in financially before the crime occurred,” she added.

Hacker said she intends to prosecute inmate assaults on jail staff, and that her commitment to all law enforcement officers being treated with respect and dignity extends to the detention deputies and their safety.

She explained that inmate assaults often involve bodily fluids and that she intends to treat such assaults as the severe crimes they are and prosecute accordingly.

“People acknowledge the importance of enforcing the laws outside of the jail, but it is just as important to enforce them inside of the jail,” said Hacker.

Hacker said she always wanted to be a lawyer because she wanted to help others and advocate for them. Her commitment to public safety began on 9/11 when she was working in Congress for Eric Cantor, in Washington D.C.

“It was actually my first day at work and I was sitting at the receptionist desk and I saw the Pentagon burning down,” Hacker paused and then added, “That intense experience taught me that there are people who have ill intent and we have to step up to them.”

As the district attorney, Hacker said she will work for speedier homicide prosecutions. Mentioning the Pate case from 2014 taking seven years to come to an end, Hacker expressed her concern that lengthy prosecutions are a disservice to the victims and to the community.

Fagundes did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: Due to an error in the Hanford Sentinel online election feed early Tuesday night, it was incorrectly reported that incumbent Keith Fagundes led the district attorney’s race at press time. He did not. 

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