WINFIELD, W.Va. — Assistant Putnam County Prosecutor Kris Raynes will become Putnam County’s next prosecuting attorney on August 31st.
The Putnam County Commission Tuesday unanimously moved to appoint Raynes to the unexpired term of former long-time prosecutor Mark Sorsaia.
“I am a Putnam County native and Buffalo High School graduate. I love my county, love my community and I’ve been active in the county for several years. To get to take this responsibility as an official in this county is a dream come true,” said Raynes soon after her appointment.
The Commission made the selection after an interview with Raynes and local attorney Brenden Long in executive session Tuesday. Raynes will be sworn in at the Commission’s August 29th meeting and take the job on August 31st officially. She’s already an assistant prosecutor in Putnam County and hopes the appointment will make for a seamless transition.
Raynes had already filed pre-candidacy papers to seek the office even before Sorsaia was appointed to the position of Homeland Security Secretary.
“I was considering the run should he retire, which I think before the cabinet appointment he may have been planning to do. I wanted to get his blessing and I did,” she said.
Raynes said she wants to continue to carry a case load as well as take on the administrative duties of the office. She expected it wouldn’t be as difficult as it might seem with the current staff.
“I have a wonderful staff and most of us have been there the entire time I’ve been there. They are fantastic to work with and they’re family,” she added.
Raynes is a lifelong prosecutor and previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Ohio where she went to school. She later served as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in West Virginia’s southern district for a period of time. She’s been an assistant Putnam County prosecutor for almost 16 years. She said she’s proud of the record and the reputation of the office and intends to keep it intact.
“Defense attorneys tell us their clients call us ‘Uh-Oh County’. They find out they are in Putnam County and they say, ‘Uh-Oh.’ They know we have aggressive prosecution here and judges who sentence pretty strongly. I’m proud to be known as ‘Uh-Oh County’ for good reason and I hope we can continue that,” she said.