When Matthew Hardin, Greene County Commonwealth’s Attorney, ran for election in November 2017, he promised to get tough on child abusers. It seems he has kept his word—in spades. Since his election two years ago, Hardin has prosecuted nine cases of child abuse or child pornography and gotten convictions in all six that have been decided. Three cases are pending. The convictions he got involved more than 325 years in jail, including the longest sentence ever obtained in Virginia for such crimes, an astounding 291 years. That’s a stellar record.

Child abusers in Greene are either in jail, under indictment or looking nervously over their shoulders. Good. Our kids are safer.

The commonwealth’s attorney is a powerful position. He/she decides who gets prosecuted and for what. That person can insist on a trial or go for a plea deal. Together with the sheriff’s department and the courts, the commonwealth’s attorney is our protection in Greene. Fortunately, we get to elect the commonwealth’s attorney (and the sheriff), so that person must be responsive to our worries and our priorities, or they shouldn’t be re-elected.

We want our kids protected at home, in school and on-line. This is a big worry in the social media age, when every kid’s cell phone is a highway—to the stars, we hope, but to the sewer, we fear. We parents can’t be with them all the time.

Hardin responded to our concerns about our kids’ safety. He went after abusers and he got big results. He gets predators out of their lives. Hardin delivered.

Recently, Hardin, now running for reelection, said he intends to continue his “Protect Our Kids” emphasis. I’m glad to hear that. I believe him.

We ought to re-elect Hardin. He responds to our concerns how it counts—by his prosecutions. He’s fair. He gets impressive results. He doesn’t showboat. He’s doing a fine job as commonwealth’s attorney and he knows Greene. Hardin has made Greene safer, for our kids and for the rest of us.

Roy Barbee


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