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Press Release -- Announcing Candidacy

posted Oct 19, 2009, 8:24 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 18, 2010, 12:09 PM by Gary Gavenus ]

GARY GAVENUS of Burnsville, North Carolina announced his candidacy for one of the two seats in the non-partisan Superior Court Judgeships for the 24th Judicial District. The 24th Judicial District is comprised of Avery, Mitchell, Madison, Yancey and Watauga Counties. 

Since January of 2003, Mr. Gavenus has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the 24th Judicial District. During his tenure as a prosecutor he has been the lead prosecutor responsible for the prosecution of all Superior Court Criminal cases in no less than two of the five counties comprising the District, having been assigned to Madison, Mitchell and Yancey Counties over this period. As the lead prosecutor in the counties to which he is assigned he has been and remains solely responsible for the prosecution of such serious felonies as homicides, sexual assaults, serious assaults, arson, drug trafficking and drug offenses, breaking and enterings, and larcenies. He has vigilantly sought and obtained homicide convictions against drug dealers who have been responsible for the death of another through their drug sales; he has consistently sought enhanced punishment for those criminals who have obtained Habitual Felon status and prosecuted Habitual Impaired Drivers. In addition to his Superior Court duties, he has also been responsible for the majority of district court cases for the counties to which he was assigned handling everything from misdemeanors to speeding tickets. He currently is the only prosecutor in the district assigned to represent the State in two counties. 

Prior to accepting a position with the District Attorney’s office, Mr. Gavenus was in private practice twenty (20) years. He was a partner in the law firm of Hemphill & Gavenus in Newland North Carolina, a partner in the firm of Wright & Gavenus in Banner Elk, North Carolina and an associate with Robert M. Brady of Lenoir North Carolina. His private practice included Civil and Criminal Litigation; Trials in District and Superior Courts; the practice of State and Local Government Law; Juvenile Law; Child Support Law; Education Law; Real Estate Law; Construction and Contract Law; Domestic Relations; and Estates/Trusts/Wills. He represented such Clients as the Town of Banner Elk, Avery Health Care System, Inc. (formerly Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital, Inc.) Avery County Partnership for Children (Smart Start), Avery County Department of Social Services; was the IV D Child Support Enforcement attorney for Avery and Mitchell Counties; and was the attorney for Mayland Community College. 

Upon being admitted to the Bar, Mr. Gavenus took a position as an Associate Attorney General with the North Carolina Department of Justice. In this capacity, he advised thirty-three (33) County Departments of Social Services for the Eastern District of North Carolina on legal issues concerning abused, neglected and dependent children. As an Associate Attorney General he submitted oral and written opinions on individual cases, held workshops and lectures and was the liaison between the thirty-three Departments and the Attorney General’s Office. 

Gavenus graduated Cum Laude from Dickinson College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Majors in Economics and Philosophy. He received his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar, the Pennsylvania Bar, and the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. 

He is married to Suzanne Biggs Gavenus, a Clinical School Social Worker at Burnsville Elementary and Yancey County Learning Academy, and former Guidance counselor at Mountain Heritage High School, and has three children, Garrett age 18, a Senior at Mountain Heritage High School; Noah age 12, a seventh grader at East Yancey Middle School and Gillian age 7, a second grader at Burnsville Elementary. 

He and his family are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Burnsville. He serves as the adult mentor for the church’s Kid Store missions program, operated by the church youth to supply goods to the Reconciliation House Food Pantry and money for their fuel fund. He has served as a Little League Coach and Board Member, started a Cub Scout Pack and has been a Cub Master, a Boy Scout Volunteer, a Charter Member and Past President of a Rotary Club. He is a current member of the Madison County Community Child Protection Team, Madison Child Fatality Prevention Team, Madison County Criminal Justice Partnership, and the 24th District Steering Committee Juvenile Justice Treatment Continuum and a former member of the Yancey County Child Fatality Prevention Team and Yancey County Criminal Justice Partnership. 

Mr. Gavenus stated “My success as a prosecutor and private attorney has been the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance. My philosophy and objective is to be prepared always, with a firm grasp of the legal issues and the applicable law. I have an excellent working relationship with the court personnel and law enforcement agencies that I work with each and every day, and will continue to work with as your Superior Court Judge.”

“Beyond my experience, I believe I have the temperament and attributes necessary for the important position of Superior Court Judge. Throughout my career as a prosecutor and private attorney I have always strived to be honest, forthright, fair and courteous with all those I come in contact with, from the public to the judiciary and members of the bar. I assure you that I will bring each of these qualities to the bench. All judgments I render will be well reasoned, impartial, just and fair to all concerned.”