Several well-wishers and local politicians packed the banquet room at the Treadway Inn in Owego, N.Y. on Wednesday to witness Kirk Martin’s announcement that he will be throwing his hat into the ring for the Tioga County District Attorney seat. Martin is one of the first to announce his candidacy for the position on the Republican ticket, and will likely face a primary challenge.
Forty-one year old Martin is a graduate of Boston College, Penn State, and Candor High School. It’s his local roots that Martin is most proud of, mentioning his family’s history of service to the country.
“Now I’m ready to do what I can to protect the citizens of Tioga County,” Martin said. “Today I’m announcing my candidacy for District Attorney,” he added.
For the last six years, Martin has worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Tioga County, and has practiced criminal law in the county for 14 years. As Assistant District Attorney, Martin was the point man for the battle against methamphetamine manufacturing, sale and use in Tioga County. Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard said Martin was “in the trenches,” working closely with law enforcement in the battle against drugs in Tioga County.
Howard added that it was “refreshing” to have Martin come to the Sheriff’s office to go over case materials and discuss plans to interdict the drug trade rather than getting a call to come into town for a meeting with the District Attorney’s office.
“In my opinion, Kirk Martin is the only candidate that can take the District Attorney’s office to the next level,” Howard said. “We need somebody that’s involved, that won’t back down or make deals,” he added.
Martin said that he has three top priorities in his plan for action should he be elected to the District Attorney’s office. First on his list is fighting senior and elderly fraud.
“Senior citizens deserve to be safe from fraud and home invasions,” Martin said, “our seniors deserve to be protected.”
Martin was interrupted twice by applause from the crowd of over 100 people attending his announcement, first when he proclaimed his candidacy. The second burst of applause was louder and longer when Martin stated his intention to stand up for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Martin said New York’s recently passed SAFE Act goes too far, and he criticized the lack of public comment and debate on the issue before it was passed. Although he disagrees with some of the Act’s provisions, Martin said he would uphold the law while fighting for the Second Amendment.
What seemed to be the most passionate cause for Martin was the third of his top priorities, fighting drugs. Martin said that when drug use goes up in a community the quality of life in the community goes down, led by increased crimes related to drug abuse such as burglary, robberies, and assaults.
“I won’t stand for the deterioration of our morals and communities,” Martin said, “for the safety of the community you have to attack drugs.”
While the meth problem has been reduced, Martin said that use of bath salts has risen, and heroine has made a comeback. “You have to go after them before they become a bigger problem, you have to stay ahead of them all,” Martin said. Martin pointed out his experience combating meth, working hand-in-hand with law enforcement on search warrants, higher bail, and stiff sentences.