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You Decide 2017: Lackawanna Co. DA Race

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The general election is right around the corner, and voters in Lackawanna County will decide who they want to lead the district attorney's office.

The candidates have two weeks to make their cases to voters.

On the Republican side: Gene Talerico.

The longtime prosecutor beat out current D.A. Shane Scanlon in the primary back in April to earn a spot on the ticket.

"I've had the opportunity to try a great deal of cases, to work to protect kids and the elderly, work as an administrator in the office," said Talerico.

On the Democratic ticket: Mark Powell.

The private attorney followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, and is a partner in his own law firm.

"I plan to work hard, lead from the front, and under my administration that office will work hard from the top down," Powell said.

Talerico argues his 25 years doing the job of a district attorney is proof there's a big difference between him and Powell.

"He's been working to get people out of jail," Talerico said. "I've been working to get people into jail and have them be accountable for their actions for hurting people in our community."

But Powell says, he comes from a unique perspective which has allowed him to prosecute civil cases, represent victims, and perform criminal defense work.

"I actually have more courtroom experience, but more importantly than that, I have board certifications that my opponent does not have. That's important because it's objective reviews of your qualifications."

Both agree there's one thing needed to weed out the corruption that's plagued the county: transparency.

"When you see it, you have to attack it, investigate it and prosecute it and follow the evidence to where it leads," said Talerico.

"I'm truly going to be independent," said Powell. "I'm going to judge folks on the conduct they committed and they harm that it's caused to a victim or society."

Both candidates have a main message they want to send to voters.

Talerico said, "My opponent has not prosecuted a single case in his entire life. So, the day he were to take office, would be the first day of his training."

Meanwhile Powell said, "Time for a change. Honestly. We have crime that's increasing, an opioid epidemic that's spiraling out of control. Something's got to be done differently."

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is October 31st.

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