CIRCUIT COURT JUDICIAL CANDIDATE
Do you remember what the Orange-Osceola court system was like 17 years ago? About forty-five judges were spread among multiple buildings in downtown Orlando, and Osceola County got by with just five jurists. There was no complex business litigation division, no domestic violence division, no VOP division, no teen court or even high-tech courtroom. There was no central receiving center to help people with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. There weren't any supervised visitation centers nor was there any sanction to read programs. There wasn't even any court website.
In my fifteen years as chief judge, I have led this system through many milestones as it has expanded to sixty-five judges and 500,000 cases a year. My leadership is proven the tangible results you see daily . . . improved public access, new technologies and efficient, highly professional judicial system. From the budget battles I fight in Tallahassee today to the individual cases I handle, you've had an experienced, knowledgeable judge whose driving force is devotion to public service and justice.
I ask for your support in returning me to the bench where I can continue to serve – according to the words of Justice Barbara Pariente in several opinions – as "one of the most experienced jurists in the state."
Born in Orlando, I am the son of a public school teacher and one of Orlando's two African American police officers. I quickly rose through the ranks at the State Attorney's Office, concluding service as chief assistant in 1989. I became the first African American to be elected judge without first being appointed.
Aside from the thousands of cases I've handled, I have been appointed to many important Florida Supreme Court committees and statewide leadership roles, including current service as chair of the Florida Innocence Commission, Executive Committee of the Trial Court Budget Committee, and member of the Supreme Court Steering Committee.