QUESTION: You are asking to be hired (or re-hired) by the voters of this county. Give five reasons why they should vote for you and not your opponent.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer questions and provide information to the voters of Fayette County. I am happy to participate in this exercise because, YES, I am asking the voters of Fayette County to “rehire” me as Magistrate Judge, Post 1.
Five reasons to vote for me:
1. Belief in the Magistrate Court: I have faithfully and competently held the position of Magistrate Judge for the past 4 years. I am an enthusiastic supporter of and I am firmly committed to the services this court provides to the people. It is the starting point for small civil cases and most criminal matters. It provides an invaluable service to the community and I enjoy being part of the process.
2. Proven Judicial Conduct: I maintain the highest ethical standards that are expected of a judge. I serve with fairness and impartiality and treat all parties that come before me with respect. I am familiar with and abide by the canons of judicial conduct, including Canon 4 addressing campaign conduct.
3. Maturity: I have worked as an attorney for 26 years. In fact, I have worked outside of the home since I was 16 years old. My father passed away when I was 10. My 3 sisters and I were raised by my Mom for many years. All of these life experiences have shaped my growth and development and given me the maturity I possess today. My maturity is demonstrated through my patience in the courtroom and the thoughtful and deliberative manner in which I handle all matters that come before me.
4. Decisive and Strong: A judge’s decisions are not always easy to make. It requires that emotions and personal preferences be set aside. A judge is supposed to follow and uphold the law even when the decision or outcome may be unpopular. I have the strength to make difficult decisions when necessary in accordance with the laws.
5. Experience: The Court has been under a statewide judicial emergency due to COVID 19. All non-essential matters were stopped and there have been no in-person hearings. We now have a backlog of cases that need to be handled going forward.
As some of the restrictions are lifted, we will methodically address each case. There are new court procedures and new rules and health policies to follow while making sure that claimants’ and defendants’ rights are protected.
It is a complicated process that will continue far into the future. An experienced judge is needed to carry out these expanded responsibilities. I have been involved in this process and I have the experience. Now is not the time for inexperience.
QUESTION: How are you different from your opponent(s) in your philosophy and your approach to this elected office?
I want to preface my response to this question by saying that I do not personally know my opponent. I have never had the opportunity to meet her in any professional or social capacity. However, I was the recipient of her campaign robocall and I have seen some of her campaign materials, including her video presentation during a campaign forum published by the Fayette County Democratic Committee.
My opponent stated in her robocall that she plans to restore integrity and equality back into Fayette County’s judicial system. Here is where my opponent and I differ in philosophy.
While I concur that integrity and equality are essential qualities of any judge and should be present in every court, I strongly disagree that they need to be “restored” to the Magistrate Court of Fayette County – the court where she seeks a position.
I know through personal experience and knowledge that the Fayette County Magistrate Court judges possess the highest level of integrity and treat all parties before them equally and impartially. It is not only a canon of judicial conduct, but it is also in the fabric and makeup of our current judges.
I will continue to maintain the highest ethical standards and abide by the canons for judicial conduct as your Magistrate Judge for the next 4 years. I respectfully request your vote to allow me to continue for a second term. Thank you.
Judge Christy Dunkelberger
Candidate for Magistrate Judge Post 1