Jasper County Prosecutor Theresa Kenney is enjoying her job so much she wants the public to elect her to a full four-year term.

Jasper County Prosecutor Theresa Kenney is enjoying her job so much she wants the public to elect her to a full four-year term.
The former assistant prosecutor was appointed to the top job in January to complete the latest term of Dean Dankelson who was elected in November 2016 to be a Circuit Court Judge in Jasper County.
Kenney announced Tuesday on the steps of the Jasper County Courthouse in Carthage her intention to run for a full four-year term in the Republican primary in August 2018 and the general election in November 2018.
Kenney said prosecuting criminals had become “my calling,” over the past 12 years as an assistant prosecutor and now Jasper County Prosecutor.
“In May of 2005, I decided to dedicate my trial experience to public service becoming an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jasper County,” she said in prepared remarks. “Since then I have tried and won many felony jury trials, but I will never forget the first time I tried and convicted a child sex offender.  It was then I knew that I had found my calling.”
Kenney said she has 30 years of experience as a trial attorney in civil and criminal cases.
She graduated from Oral Roberts University (B.A. 1985) and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (JD 1988) and began her practice of law with Blanchard, Robertson, Mitchell and Carter, in 1988, becoming a partner in 1995.
Kenney said she wanted a chance to continue to shape and change the prosecutor's office.
“Since taking office this past January, I have hired three additional attorney,” Kenney said. “We now have five full-time assistants. Together we are looking for ways to improve our ability to prosecute cases fairly and timely. We are exploring new ways to manage our caseloads. We are trying to identify and prioritize those cases that require prompt trial settings. We are identifying those cases that can and should be resolved by using one of our four treatment courts now available to address mental health, and drug/alcohol addiction.”
Kenney said she realized it was early, the filing period for county offices doesn't begin until January 2018, but she wanted to send a message early to her constituents.
“It seems early to me too, but it's just a year from now,” Kenney said. “And I want the citizens of Jasper County to know that I'm in this for the long haul. I want to get out there early and strong and let people know that I want to work and serve the people of Jasper County as their prosecuting attorney.”