At our Midtown Republican Club meeting this month, some Democrat judges came forward to ask for our votes. They do not appear to have Republican opponents.
Judge Joyce Broffitt is running against Melissa Boyd and Gerald Skahan. She is the incumbent in the race for the General Sessions Judge Division 9.
Judge Broffitt does share some Republican views. “I apply the law as it is written. I don’t try to make the law,” said the Judge, who was born in Tipton County and graduated from Rhodes College. “If you’re young and able bodied there is no reason why you’re not working, I tell those who come before me. I believe everybody has a chance and a purpose. I try to make people before me know they have a responsibility to the community. I believe in being fair, being firm and following the Constitution,” she says.
Judge Broffitt follows her own advice on being active in the community. “I’ve been a board member of Rhodes College for six years and on Youth Villages for nine years. She has served on the bench for 17.
Judge Gwen Rooks also believes in stressing the importance of a job to people who come in her court. “I insist they get a job,” says the General Sessions Criminal Court Division 12 judge. “I have a job list and insist they fill out the form. I believe a job elevates them in society and helps their own well being. We have to give people a chance, but they need to pay.”
But, “If you let me down, I’m burned on that,” she says.
Judge Rook spent 18 years as a public defender under Judge Pierotti and “I’ve tried every kind of case,” she says.
In Division 11, Michelle Alexander Best has probably the easiest slogan of any candidate: “Make the Best choice.”
She told us she was a high school teacher for 32 years and was first elected in 1998. Best focuses on mental health issues.