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.
I am Natalie Ashman and I am asking the voters to elect me to be the next Fayette County Magistrate Judge Post 4 because I have the credentials, vision, and ability to improve our Magistrate Court. I am the best candidate for Magistrate Judge Post 4 because, unlike my opponent:
• I have the benefit of having recently appeared and handled cases in many courts, including magistrate courts, throughout Georgia. Practicing law full time has not only kept me up to date on the law and procedures, but it also provides me with the opportunity to experience better and best practices.
I am in a unique position of being able to identify productive methods and processes that will make our court more efficient and effective. We currently have a good Magistrate Court; but our citizens deserve greatness and I can introduce new ideas that can make our Magistrate Court great.
• I have a well-rounded career history. I have experience in various areas of the law. During law school, I interned with a judge. Upon graduating, I worked for Georgia Legal Services, where I represented low-income Georgians in non-criminal matters.
I have served as a full-time prosecutor, public defender, and a judge pro tempore for Fayette County State Court. Currently, I have my own firm where I represent people in criminal and non-criminal matters.
As a candidate that has served Georgians from every side of a courtroom, I have the temperament and discretion to be fair and impartial when balancing an accused’s rights, a victim’s rights, and the interests of the community.
• I can relate to and I am relatable to Fayette County residents. Society, Georgia, and Fayette County is not the same place that it was 30 years ago. Fayette County is developing and growing and the demographics of the community has changed.
Magistrate Court is often referred to as the people’s court and it should be reflective of the people who comprise the community. My background and experience make me the best candidate because I am intuitive, open-minded, and compassionate.
I understand that good people end up in bad situations. I will always follow the law and as I do, I will treat everyone who appears before me with dignity and respect.
• I am actively involved in the community. I am a member of local community organizations and regularly volunteer. I am able to engage the community and create community outreach programs so our residents are more knowledgeable about the legal system.
During this election, I have used my platform to educate people about Magistrate Court. The courts should be less daunting and people should know about the courts, before they find themselves as a party to a legal action.
• I am able to offer fresh, new, innovative perspectives. I am excited about the future of technology in the courts. I have the ability to introduce the courts to the 21st Century, its technology, and inspire innovation in the legal system.
The courts are for the people and we must use technology to make the courts more accessible, user-friendly, and efficient. Utilizing technology in Magistrate Court will also allow judges to effectively and efficiently manage cases and improve the people’s experience.
A vote for Natalie Ashman for Fayette County Magistrate Judge Post 4 is a vote for positive change.
QUESTION: How are you different from your opponent(s) in your philosophy and your approach to this elected office?
I would like to effectuate change in Magistrate Court. The law is often referred to as a living thing because it constantly changes based upon the time and necessities of people and society. As a result, resistance to change and promoting the status quo is detrimental to the improvements and development of the courts and our laws.
In order for things to progress, and keep improving we must infuse new people and new ideas into the system. Having the same person in a position for 30 years is not conducive to progress or change.
During this election, my opponent has referred to his past accomplishments, but he has not offered any insight to how he expects to assist with the growth, development, and improvement of the court. I want to honor and maintain the good things that Fayette County Magistrate Court is known for, but I also want to help to improve the court for our citizens.
Since this is a part-time judgeship, I do plan to continue my legal practice. However, my continued practice will not conflict with my abilities or duties to perform as a Magistrate Judge. The law is clear on the priority of judicial work.
Additionally, my continued practice will positively impact my contributions to the office. I am willing and able to make myself available for the 24-hour obligations. I humbly ask that you vote for Natalie Ashman for Fayette County Magistrate Judge Post 4.