Steve Gunnels

Protecting the Rights of All Community Members

“I’ve dedicated my career to justice and public safety and believe the criminal justice system must protect the rights of every person in our community. It would be an honor to serve as your District Attorney.”
Steve Gunnels


and community support

"Steve represents the best a citizen can expect of a prosecutor. Steve is honest, has solid judgment, and is dedicated to the impartial and equal application of the law. Steve Gunnels will be an outstanding Deschutes County District Attorney."
Frank Papagni
Retired Assistant U.S. Attorney and former Lane County Deputy District Attorney
“Steve Gunnels is the best person to lead the Deschutes County DA’s Office. I have worked as a prosecutor with Steve for over 23 years and know him to be dedicated to public service as a prosecutor and supervisor. Professionally, Steve is known for his good judgment, fairness and dedication. Steve is humble, a seeker of truth and an advocate for justice.”
Mary Anderson
Chief Deputy District Attorney
“Steve Gunnels is the most outstanding, upstanding, honest prosecutor. I worked for the DA's office a while ago. Deschutes County could not have a better DA than Mr. Gunnels.”
Mary Braddock
Former Trial Assistant
"Steve is an outstanding attorney and knows more about criminal law than anyone I know but more importantly he knows how to use his wisdom on behalf of the victims and the community to bring about justice - we are very blessed that he is running for Deschutes County District Attorney."
Thomas Spear
Criminal Defense Attorney
"I have known Steve for over 15 years. Over the years, Steve has been my co-worker, my colleague, and my friend. Steve is a genuinely good person who will continue to put fairness, justice, and community safety over politics. Steve Gunnels will deliver on his promises to Deschutes County and should be our next DA."
Jamie Gerlitz
"He is kind, considerate and is focused on trying to do the right thing. He is willing to sit down and listen to concerns and issues and actually give a response."
Jon Pritchard
Mary Anderson
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Kandy Gies
Deputy District Attorney, Retired
Deana Tucker
Evidence Technician, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Lisa Rosen
Treatment Provider
Kelly Monaghan
Aaron Wells
Community Member
Jamie and Crystal Sawyer
Local Business Owners and Creators of Kaylee’s Law, Oregon Senate Bill 576
Frank Papagni
Retired Assistant U.S. Attorney and former Lane County Deputy District Attorney
Terry Rahmsdorff
Deschutes County Public Defender, Retired
Tim Colahan
Former Harney Co. District Attorney
Mary Braddock
Former Trial Assistant
Philip Anderson
Bob & Toni Duff
Community Members
Stephen N. Tiktin
Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge, Retired
Robert Hamilton
Assistant Attorney General, Oregon Dept. of Justice, Retired
Patricia Stoneroad, J.D.
Former member of the Deschutes County Family Drug Court Team
John Hummel
Deschutes County District Attorney
Lori Hellis
Public Defender (Retired) and Author
Eric Beckwith
Community Member


A longtime resident of Central Oregon, Steve Gunnels has served as a Deschutes County prosecutor for 27 years. His experience includes the successful prosecution of some of the most serious crimes committed in Deschutes County. Gunnels, a Redmond High graduate, attended Oregon State University and Georgetown University Law School. He and his wife have raised their family in Central Oregon and are committed to this community.

Steve Gunnels worked with Judge Alta Brady and a team of professionals to design and implement the Deschutes County Family Drug Court Program. For the past 15 years, Gunnels has served as the Family Drug Court and Adult Treatment Court prosecutor. “I have seen people enter the program in the throes of addiction, and with the help of the program, embrace sobriety, reunite with their families and become healthy, productive members of our community,” said Gunnels. 

His experience includes working as Special Assistant U.S Attorney prosecuting felony offenses including major drug, money laundering and firearm offenses. Teaching law enforcement on a variety of legal issues, speaking to community groups and school classes about the criminal justice system.

Awards include the 2021 Champion of Rights of Victims Award, Oregon Prosecutor of the Year 2004, and CO-Oregon Prosecutor of the Year 2010.


A collaborative approach to solving the issues that impact community safety and justice.



Retaining the excellent prosecutors and staff in our office who contribute to our mission every day.


Completing the implementation and assessment of all existing and new programs using objective, evidence-based criteria.


As the court and community grow and as we assess the best path forward for our county, keeping open lines of communication with community partners and individuals who wish to be heard.

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