Kathy Brown Valencia (incumbent), Judge Magistrate Court District 2 (non-partisan)



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.

Why you should re-elect me for magistrate judge (Post 2, county-wide) —

I am Judge Kathy Brown Valencia. I have been a magistrate for 10 years. Although my opponent and I are the same age, same demographics, and similar in political viewpoints, here are five important reasons why you should re-elect me as the Post 2 Magistrate Judge.

• My stability and strengths are absolutely necessary right now. I am a strong and capable judge with a decade of experience who can deal with the complications and emergency situations that we face now and in the foreseeable future as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Magistrate Court faces a backlog of cases, complicated legal matters due to delays, and a flood of new filings. As a member of the Covid Task Force, I am working with other judges to restart court proceedings, but the complexities and new requirements will be anything but simple.

A new judge would be hopelessly lost in the multitude of detailed requirements that alter basic as well as complex proceedings. Continuity is critical now and in the future. The court needs a judge who is prepared for this moment in time. I am that judge.

• I am trustworthy and competent. I am a proven and respected judge with no marks against my record. With me, you are getting a judge who knows what she is doing and who brings integrity, fairness, and the right temperament to the courtroom.

When you go to court, having a judge who manages the case load efficiently and who renders legally correct judgments promptly will matter to you. For a decade, I have provided our community with that type of courtroom experience, and I will continue to do so.

Not only do I have many years of experience on the bench, I have been an attorney for more than 25 years. My opponent, who is my age, only recently reached the seven-year requirement necessary for her to run for this office, and she has never been a judge.

Since we have the same “career span,” she can never catch up. My record is one of excellence, and there is no reason to switch to an untried and untested newcomer.

• You are my priority. I put serving Fayette County first, above other career interests. I have limited my practice of law and business activities so that I am consistently available to meet the needs of the Magistrate Court. I can, and do, take on extra duties.

My opponent plans to continue a full-time law office, so she will be limited by her clients’ needs rather than meeting the needs of the county. Magistrates must be available after hours, nights, weekends, holidays and at times when other judges have overloaded calendars or conflicts. My opponent will have divided interests. I will not.

• A respectful courtroom. In my courtroom, you will continue to receive justice and impartiality in a calm and respectful manner. I have been honored by the number of people who have commended me on the way I conduct my civil trials and hearings, including many who have lost their cases.

People want a magistrate who has the time to devote to each case, who does not rush the process, and who stays on the job until the work is done so that cases do not linger in the system. I am that judge.

• Dedicated to the community. My ties to Fayette County run deep and I care deeply for this community. I grew up here, graduated from Fayette County High, then taught English there before going to law school. My husband and I raised our daughters here.

My grandfather was the last employee to work as a miller at the old mill that is now Frank’s restaurant.

While being deeply rooted in the county does not make me a better judge than someone without such roots, it does show you why I am dedicated to safety and justice in our community. My desire to serve Fayette County is real, and my steady, competent record is established. For these reasons, I ask for your vote in the upcoming election.

QUESTION: How are you different from your opponent(s) in your philosophy and your approach to this elected office?

It was instilled in me at a young age to use my knowledge and skills to serve my community. I want our county to prosper and remain safe. I have not hesitated to be tough on violent criminals and repeat offenders.

As we see more crime from out-of-county defendants, the message must be clear that crime will not be tolerated here so that we maintain a thriving community. Our whole county benefits from my ability to render fair, impartial justice that is legally sound. I am very good at what I do.

On the other hand. my opponent has stated that she wants to be a magistrate so that she can “help people.” While that is a kind sentiment, it shows a lack of understanding of what a magistrate court is legally empowered to do.

Magistrate Courts cannot run programs such as victim advocacy, DUI court, or drug court because we do not impose sentencing. My opponent should be seeking a job in one of those areas which would be more suited to her stated goals.

I know my duties as a judge, and by doing them well, I keep our community safe. You can continue to put your confidence in me.