Sheriff Shuler & Incumbent CA Evans Endorse Blevins
Recently, Phillip “Bucky” Blevins rode with sheriff’s deputies as they patrolled the county.
The assistant commonwealth’s attorney explained that he needs to see the situations they experience and the people they encounter firsthand. In the courthouse, everything is different in the light day, he reflected.
Blevins wants Smyth County residents to know that he’ll bring such commitment to public safety and service to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office should he be elected next year.
On the courthouse steps at noon last Wednesday, Blevins announced his candidacy for the post in the 2023 general election. He’s seeking the local Republican Party’s nomination. Blevins said he’s running as a Republican because that’s who he is — “a fiscal conservative.”
Blevins came to the announcement with the backing of his boss, Democrat Roy Evans, who plans to retire at the end of this term. Evans has served as county’s commonwealth’s attorney since 1988. Monday, Evans shared his reasoning. He said, “I have followed Bucky’s legal career starting with a 2011 meeting at which we discussed his plans for law school. He then did three internships in the Smyth County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while he attended law school. We kept in close touch while he served his country in the Air Force as an officer in the JAG Corps. We talked about cases he was prosecuting, some of them quite difficult. I was always impressed with Bucky’s work ethic, his sense of justice and his compassion. Throughout, Bucky has been dedicated to his family and has always wanted to come back to Smyth County to serve his home community. I do not think you could ask for more in a candidate or a commonwealth’s attorney.”
Law enforcement officers from each of the county’s agencies were present for Blevins’ announcement. Sheriff Chip Shuler stood by Blevins’ side, endorsing him.
Afterward, Shuler said he fully backs Blevins. The sheriff explained, “He is law and order.”
While Shuler said he doesn’t plan to make a formal announcement until after the New Year, he plans to seek re-election and believes he and Blevins will make up a joint ticket committed to public safety.
Next year will mark Shuler’s 40th year in law enforcement, but, he said, “I still wake up loving what I do. It’s all about service to my community.”
Shuler noted that he has worked with Evans throughout his entire career. He described that opportunity as a privilege.
Watching his young son Noah Wednesday and noting his other son Lucas, Blevins said they push his motivation for public safety even deeper — “for the children who live here and go to school here.”
In a news release, he said, “My top priority will always be to seek justice first in every case. I am a fierce advocate for the men and women who risk their lives for our safety. I pledge to keep Smyth County safe by combatting crime, strengthening law enforcement partnerships, and keeping community at the heart of my work.”
Noting the early date of his announcement for the 2023 campaign, Blevins said, “I don’t think you could ever stop campaigning for this job.”
In law school, Blevins knew he wanted to be a prosecutor. He interned with Evans, who Blevins calls a mentor. “I felt called to be a prosecutor,” he said.
Before he answered that call, he responded to another – to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force. Still, even two years ago stationed in Afghanistan, he spoke about serving Smyth County as its top prosecutor.
Blevins served nearly six years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force as a military prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney,
Before fulfilling any of those duties, he joined the Adwolfe Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in 2008. Now, he is serving on the board of directors at Adwolfe Fire. He is also a member of the college board at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and is active in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts.
Blevins graduated from the Smyth County school system. He is an adjunct professor at Appalachian School of Law and a member of the Tennessee Air National Guard.
Wednesday, his wife, Katie Jo, joined Blevins for the announcement. She teaches second grade at Chilhowie Elementary School.
“We’re thrilled to finally be home and raising our two boys, Noah and Lucas, in the community that built us,” said Blevins.