Thorp announces candidacy
District Attorney Jack Thorp, of Wagoner, is asking voters in Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah, and Wagoner counties to allow him to continue serving as District Attorney with their vote in the upcoming election.
Thorp was selected by the Governor to replace Brian Kuester as the District Attorney for District 27 when Brian Kuester was appointed as United States Attorney for the Eastern District in September 2017.
Thorp served seven years as Kuester’s right hand, as First Assistant District Attorney. The duties of First Assistant put him in charge of the district’s day-to-day operations, as well as the litigation of complex criminal cases. For more than seven years, Thorp has managed the offices’ [up to] 63 employees in four counties and six offices, while navigating a multi-million-dollar budget through years of consistent budget cuts.
Kuester said in a letter to the Governor, “[Thorp] has played a critical and vital role in creating a district attorney’s office in which the people of this district can place their trust. His reputation is impeccable among the honest, law-abiding people who know him.”
Thorp has spent his nearly 20-year career in as a criminal prosecutor. He served six years as coordinator and prosecuting attorney in charge of the Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force where he specialized in drug crimes, drug asset forfeiture, and violent crimes. Thorp went on to serve five years as assistant district attorney for then-Tulsa County D.A. Tim Harris, quickly assuming supervisory positions and earning the department’s prestigious “Top Gun” award in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Thorp has earned a reputation as a skilled and innovative, hard-as-nails litigator, he has tried 96 felony jury trials, of which 38 were First Degree Murder cases. He’s garnered extensive experience prosecuting homicides, domestic violence, crimes against children, sexual abuse and other major crimes. A fierce victims’ advocate, Thorp is as committed to preventing crimes as he is to prosecuting them.
“I appreciate our partnership with Jack and his staff,” said Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott, “not only because of his mastery of the law, but because he’s willing to go the extra mile to keep our community safe. He recently volunteered his time to provide valuable, potentially lifesaving insights at a community forum on active shooter preparedness.”
Thorp is also committed to solving and prosecuting cold cases, having led the prosecution of the killers of Jarret Clark, a Broken Arrow graduate who went missing on Mother’s Day 2007.
“There would not have been justice for Jarret Clark without the dedicated work from Jack Thorp,” said Tammy Slater, Jarret’s mother. “Words cannot express our appreciation for Jack’s determined efforts to bring justice to our family.”
The prosecution of cold cases is a focal point for Thorp’s office, as evidenced by the Clark case and the recent indictment of a 32-year-old Tahlequah man in the 2007 murders of Jack and Elaine Denney in Cherokee County.
“Life moves on for the rest of the world, but for the families of murder victims, time stands still until they know what happened to their loved ones,” Thorp said, “and we want them to know we won’t rest until they see justice.”
In addition to Thorp’s service as a public prosecutor, he’s a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served on the U.S.S. Doyle (FFG-39). He earned commendations from Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 and Commander Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic Fleet.
Thorp is married to Joy Pittman Thorp, Deputy Attorney General for Attorney General Mike Hunter, and head of that Office’s Criminal Justice Division. He has two daughters, Makenzie of Philadelphia, Pa., and Delaney of Wagoner, who serves as a 911 Dispatcher for Wagoner County 911.