Waters seeks new direction

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 03:30 PM

Michael Waters wants to bring an outsider’s perspective to the district attorney’s office.

“I’m not complacent with how things are right now,” he said. “I live in this community, and my wife lives here, my son is here, and just like everyone else’s family, I want them to be safe and the community to be prosperous.”

Waters is one of two running in the Democratic primary in May. He is opposed by Cindy Bostic. Sam Currin is not seeking re-election.

With no Republican on the ballot, the primary winner will likely take the seat.

Waters grew up in Granville County, graduated from J.F. Webb High School and received a scholarship to attend UNC Chapel Hill.

“I was fortunate enough to get awarded a teaching fellow scholarship,” he said. “I’m glad I did it, and I don’t think it sets me back any.”

In the fall of 1997, Waters started teaching science at a middle school in Chapel Hill. He also served as an athletics director.

“I think that has uniquely prepared me for everything I do,” he said. “It was a great experience. I learned a lot about administration, handling budgets and managing staff.”

After teaching for five years, he started law school at N.C. Central University.

“Law school was always in the back of my mind,” he said. “By the time I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, I was more committed to being a lawyer. I also decided what kind of law I wanted to practice so I didn’t have to spend time trying to find myself within the profession.”

Waters followed in the footsteps of his father, David, who was district attorney from 1978 to 2001 and continues to practice law.

He is now a partner in his father’s law practice, Perry & Waters.

Waters said his varied experience makes him an ideal candidate for the job.

“I’ve been an athletic director; I’ve had staffs of over 30,” he said. “I have a law office with a staff of 10 or more and was probably the second largest group next to the DA’s office a couple of years ago.”

If elected, Waters said he would seek to lower the impaired driving dismissal rate, which is nearly twice as high in the district compared to the state.

“I think DWIs are a big issue in this campaign,” he said. “It affects the safety of everyone who travels on the road.”

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.