Place of residence: Columbia
Occupation: Associate Circuit Judge for Division 11 in Boone County
Political experience: My current position as Judge is the only political office I have held. (appointed February 2018)
Education: Juris Doctor, University of Missouri School of Law; bachelor of science, Truman State University
Opponent: Stephanie Morrell
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
Experience. As your Judge in Division 11, I have presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases. My Division is unique because I handle a majority of the civil lawsuits – cases in which one person or business sues another – filed in the Associate Division in Boone County. Before serving as your Judge, I represented small businesses and individuals at every stage of the civil litigation process, and was named four years in a row to the Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers Magazine for my work as a civil lawyer. I have the extensive civil experience required to serve in Division 11, and enjoy being able to put that experience to use for the great people of Boone County.
If elected, how do you plan to approach the job?
I am seeking to continue serving as your Judge in Division 11 so that I can carry on my mission of ensuring that every person who appears in Division 11 has a full and fair opportunity to be heard, and that justice is delivered equally regardless of a person’s background or circumstance.
What are the most pressing issues in our criminal justice system?
As a judge, I have a duty to help bring about positive changes in the criminal justice system. One of the topics I am most passionate about is the use of our Boone County Treatment Courts – i.e., Drug Court, Mental Health Court, DWI Court, and Veterans Court – for non-violent offenders with substance abuse problems and/or mental health conditions. I would like to see continued growth of our Treatment Courts with the goal of decreasing drug related crime, particularly property crime that has been linked to increased opioid use and dependency. I believe that the growing use of Treatment Courts will reduce recidivism amongst non-violent offenders, and in turn, reduce property crime. This will have a positive effect on our community.