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BOLIVIA—There’s something in the air that brought Fred Gore home.
It’s the salt air. It’s the way the air changes when you approach the coast. It’s fishing on lazy summer afternoons, and hunting in the fall. It’s family.
For Gore, to put it simply, it’s home.
He was working as a prosecutor in the Durham County District Attorney’s office when Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David offered Gore a job as a prosecutor in his office. Gore immediately accepted the position.
A graduate of West Brunswick High School, Gore played wide receiver on the Trojans’ 1992 state championship football team—the first state championship in the school’s history.
At 17, Gore, with the necessary permission of his parents, enlisted in the National Guard.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Gore began a successful marketing career that included UNC-Charlotte athletics, Nike, former WNBA franchise Charlotte Sting and NASCAR.
Sept. 11, 2001, happened. Things changed in the job market and something else beckoned. It turned out to be law school.
Gore enrolled in the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., in 2002.
“I just enjoyed the overall process of learning how to practice law, and actually, my first summer, I interned here in the DA’s office in 2003, and had a great experience,” Gore said.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to do criminal law at the time, because you’d see the same folks come through the system. And I was a little disheartened by it. But after finishing law school, I came back to North Carolina.”
But this time something entirely different beckoned—duty—and Gore deployed to Iraq with his National Guard unit for a 16-month tour.
“Before passing the bar, I got mobilized with the National Guard. During law school I decided to join the JAG section as an enlisted soldier, and we got mobilized before I passed the bar in 2006. We were deployed to Iraq, and I was on active-duty orders for about 16 months.
“I came off active-duty orders in October 2007, and after being released…I sat for the February 2008 bar, which was the next available one. I sat for the bar there in Raleigh and passed, and then I worked for Legal Aid of North Carolina for a very brief time, but then got a job working in the Durham County DA’s office.”
Gore worked as a prosecutor in the Durham County DA’s office from 2008 until January 2011.
“When Jon gave me the opportunity to come home, it was just one I couldn’t pass up. I had been thinking about coming back home at a later date, but with the changes in the administration, I just met him at a function and was not expecting to meet him, and we had a conversation and everything was positive. It just went from there.”
Gore said he’s prepared to switch gears somewhat from the fast-paced urban Durham County to slighter slower Columbus and Bladen counties.
“I don’t think I’m going to change my prosecutorial style as much as bring home what I learned when I was here. I try to maybe use some of my Southern hospitality and people skills I was taught growing up here. In Durham, that might not have gone over as well there, because people are always in a hurry to do stuff. Things are a little slower here. I appreciate that.
“We, as prosecutors and defense attorneys, will be working on various cases, so I think the way I was raised to respect people, understanding how to cultivate relationships, will be something I will use here—with the understanding that justice will be fair but efficient.
“There’s a certain level of the community that wants to know that they have someone who understands both sides of what’s going on to prosecute cases. With me, I feel that they have that because I am part of the community as a native, and now, moving back home and living in the community that I will actually be representing.”
Gore will primarily work in the district’s Columbus County office, prosecuting felony drug crimes in Bladen and Columbus counties. When he’s not in the courtroom, Gore looks forward to spending time with his 2-year-old twin sons, Josiah and Jeremiah, and, of course, taking full advantage of all Brunswick County has to offer.
After all, it’s what brought him home.