Junior Christian Howe shares what it is like calling the district attorney of Johnson County “Dad”

Junior Christian Howe and his father Steve Howe share their views on Steve's position as District Attorney of Johnson County

Shelby Hudson, JAG web editor

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In 2008, Steve Howe was elected district attorney of Johnson County, his son, junior Christian Howe has been able to learn the importance of family and roles in government through his father.

Before claiming the election, Steve was just an assistant district attorney and had been for 16 years before he was requested by local Republican leaders to run for a higher position.

“I had seen what it took to be D.A.,” Steve said. “I had the skill sets to do it and it was one of the moments in life when you know it is a big risk but you will always regret it if you don’t take it.”

After consulting his family, which includes of his wife Cyndi Howe, his daughters Natalie and Carlie Howe, and his two sons Christian and Jacob Howe, the family agreed to the idea and aided Steve in his election every step of the way.

“I helped him walk door-to-door and campaign with him in parades,” Christian said. “I like to go to a lot of events that he does for the community in which he helps support many community groups like Safe Home.”

Once elected, Steve began working diligently and has been for the past six years to bring new policies into place. The Mental Diversion Program, which aids those in court with mental illness for minor offenses, and the Minor In Possession Profiling Diversion, which allows for minors, who have committed their first offense with possession of alcohol, will have charges dropped through community service and alcohol counseling. Steve’s M.I.P program has seen a 90 percent success rate of minors not reoffending.

With Steve’s job being head prosecutor in court, he consistently works alongside the police force in viewing evidence and bringing appropriate criminal charges to those who have offended. He often runs into material that is extremely provoking and hard to view. During trial, Steve works upwards to 90 hours a week.

“The hardest part is when you are dealing with certain cases dealing with the families I get, whose loved ones were killed or seriously injured or meeting with victims in other instances as well, that is hard because it is a very emotional situation. We have to be like a doctor, we have to be unemotional, we have to be objective which is hard to do because you feel empathy for those people and you are going all day and night,” Steve said. “I just make it a real point that when I drive home from work, I try to switch it off.”

Yet with a tedious job which represents the county, Christian has found although his dad is able to separate home and work life, he is still in the office a lot.

“Certain weeks he gets really busy, like he said earlier, he is not always there, so if there is a big rivalry soccer game I have [he can’t always make it,]” Christian said. “I know he is doing something important though.”

Your moral compass is important on a variety of different levels.”

— Steve Howe

The Howe family runs on a series of morals, which not only defines their family rules, but the way Steve has been able to lead his family and the public.

“Upbringing establishes the foundation of your belief system, and the thing is, justice is really important and that’s the reason why i really like this job,” Steve said. “Doing the right thing, making the right decisions for the right reasons, your moral compass is important on a variety of different levels.”

Even before election, Christian and his siblings have followed their parent’s instructions to not break the law and be responsible young adults, yet now, it is more prominent.

“‘Don’t get in trouble.’ ‘Do what you’re supposed to.’ Yet that is how every other parent should be,” Christian said. “He preaches it more because of his job, he punishes people who don’t [follow the law.]”

During times when Steve is mainly focusing on pushing for policies and handling procedures within the office, he finds down time and is able to spend it with his family, each enjoying every minute of it.

“When he gets home we will do stuff together whether it be working out together, going to the movies together or watching TV together,” Christian said. “We have a lot of the same interests, we are both history buffs so we will watch the history channel together.”

With family being so close, members of the family have found it hard, especially when Steve was running, to hear negative things said about him and his party.

“It was harder for [my family] than me when people said negative things about me,” Steve said. “I’m a big boy I can handle it, but it is a lot harder when it is your own dad or your husband and you’re hearing those things.”

Yet even when negativity found its way to the family, Christian was able to describe his defense the best.

“I let them roll off, I don’t really care, that is their political opinion,” Christian said. “Mine is a little bias though.”

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