By Nyesha Stone
The Spring Primary Elections are ten days away, on April 2, but early voting is available now. To engage more voters during the elections, Milwaukee Bar Association held a judicial forum for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. It featured Danielle Shelton, candidate for Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Branch 40 and Judge Andrew Jones, who has been on the bench for six months.
During the forum, Shelton and Jones shared their backgrounds, why they’re running for the Circuit court and who they are as people, in hopes of winning the votes on those in the room. It also gave the community a chance to connect with them on a personal level.
Shelton is single mother of two daughters. She was in the military, attended law school, worked with immigrant mothers in France, to name a few, and is currently an assistant public defender. She believes her experience as a woman of color will bring a diversity to the bench that is missing.
If Shelton is elected as judge, she wants to focus on mass incarceration because “it’s a plight in our community,” she said. As a woman of color, she’s faced sexism and racism, so she has a perspective most on the bench don’t, she stated.
“I want people who come before me to understand I will listen,” Shelton said. “Most people don’t want to be there, in the court. And when they are there, they just want to be heard.”
Jones has an extensive background in government and serving the Milwaukee community. He’s spent 24 years as an attorney and has practiced on every level of federal and state judicial systems—the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin and United States Supreme Courts.
He said he’s spent years being a fair and equal judge to all, no matter the circumstances. Jones believes he’s proven himself as a credible judge through his experiences, which is why people should vote for him.
Jones said he’s never had to use the gavel during court because his “demeanor is one where frankly a gravel isn’t needed.”
“The judge is to keep the wheels of justice turning,” Jones said. “Maintain control in your courtroom [through demeanor].”
For the complete list of who’s on the April 2nd ballot, visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/previewmyballot.