A whopping 13 candidates have qualified to run for Mobile County Circuit Court judge and will appear on the primary election ballot Tuesday, June 5. Runoffs are scheduled for July 17 and the general election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 6.
It’s a particularly crowded field on the Republican side, especially in Place 6, where four candidates have qualified. Those names include Harry Satterwhite, Barney March, Buzz Jordan and Brandy Hambright.
• Harry Satterwhite joined the bar more than 23 years ago and has operated his own law firm for the last 16 years. Satterwhite is a top-rated attorney (AV rating) licensed to practice before the highest courts in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. He is also admitted to practice in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Satterwhite was elected to serve on the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners, which reviews ethics complaints against lawyers, and was also elected to the Mobile Bar Association Executive Committee.
• Barney March has spent his career representing clients from every background, both plaintiffs and defendants. According to his biographical information on Facebook, he represented homeowners and business owners, professionals and blue-collar workers, large corporations and “people with nothing but the shirts on their backs.” March helped start the volunteer guardian program in Mobile, a pilot program providing much-needed assistance to incapacitated persons who have no family to care for them. A founding member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, March grew up in Mobile and has practiced law here since 1993.
• Brandy Hambright has more than 18 years of courtroom experience and has been a partner at the Hambright Law Firm since 2006, according to information from her campaign’s Facebook page. Hambright was a public defender in Greene County, Mississippi (where she was raised), until 2006 and has been a public defender in Bayou La Batre since 2012. Mobile became Hambright’s home 27 years ago when she began college at University of South Alabama.
• Buzz Jordan is a partner in Buzz Jordan, P.C. He currently specializes in criminal law, personal injury, divorce, family and civil law, and is a former Mobile County assistant district attorney.
• Karlos Finley is the lone Democrat running for Place 6. Finley is a partner at Boteler, Finley & Wolf, P.C., and serves as a part-time municipal judge in Mobile. He graduated from LeFlore High School and enlisted in the Coast Guard. After beginning his collegiate academic career at Bishop State Community College, Finley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mobile and a Juris Doctor from Miles School of Law in Fairfield. Finley is a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama. He also serves on the advisory committee for the Dearborn YMCA, Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation and the Bishop State Community College Foundation.
• Also on the Democratic side, Judge John Lockett is running for re-election in Place 3. He is running unopposed in both the June primary and November general election. Lockett is the current presiding judge of the Mobile County Circuit. He graduated from Spring Hill College in 1976 and The University of Alabama School of Law in 1979, and was admitted to the state bar in 1979. He served as general counsel to the Alabama Secretary of State in 1980 and 1981 and as an assistant Attorney General in 1981 and 1982. Lockett was in private practice from 1982 to 1999 and served as Mobile’s city attorney from 1989 to 1999.
• Wesley Pipes is running unopposed as a Republican for the Place 1 seat on the Circuit Court. Pipes was born and raised in Mobile County, according to the information on his campaign’s website. He graduated cum laude from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1995 and immediately began working for Lyons, Pipes & Cook, a Mobile-based firm founded by his grandfather. In 2016, He formed the Pipes Law Firm, where he tries and handles cases throughout the state and federal courts.
• Judge Ben Brooks is running unopposed as a Republican for re-election to Place 2 on the Circuit Court. Brooks was admitted to the state bar in 1983. He was a state senator from 2006 to 2012 and a member of the Mobile City Council from 2001 to 2006. Brooks was in private practice from 1983 to 2012, when he was elected circuit judge. Brooks graduated from Theodore High School in 1976 and from the University of South Alabama in 1980. He graduated from law school at The University of Alabama in 1983.
• Judge Jay York is running unopposed as a Republican in Place 4 on the Circuit Court. This is his first election since being appointed to the position. York graduated from Spring Hill College in 1977 and from Cumberland Law School in 1981. He served in the Army Reserve from 1977 to 1982 and in the Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps from 1982 to 1987. York was in private law practice locally from 1987 to 2012, when he was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to serve in Mobile County District Court; he was elected to that position in 2014. York was later appointed again by Bentley to serve in Circuit Court.
• Judge Walter Honeycutt is running unopposed as a Republican in Place 5. This is his first election since being appointed to the position two years ago. Place 5 is in the domestic relations division. Honeycutt graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in 1981. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama in 1985 and a master of public administration in 1990, and a law degree from Mississippi College in 1993. Honeycutt maintained a private practice in Mobile and was appointed to serve on the Circuit Court in February 2016. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Mobile Bar Association and Liberty Bell Award Committee and has served as bar commissioner for the county circuit.
• Judge Edmond G. Naman has qualified to run for re-election as a Republican in Place 8. Place 8 is the juvenile division of the circuit court, located within Strickland Youth Center. Naman graduated from UMS-Wright, the University of South Alabama and Jones School of Law before serving as an assistant district attorney from 1995 to 2007. He was a special prosecutor in charge of gun and violent crime and a special prosecutor for the Mobile County Drug Court program. He has served as a member of the mayor’s task force on youth and substance abuse. Naman was an instructor for the Archdiocese of Mobile Child Protection Program and chairman of the Helping Families Initiative for at-risk youth. He is a board member Mobile County Domestic Violence Task Force.
• Michael Sherman is running unopposed as a Republican in Place 9, his first election since being appointed to the position by Gov. Kay Ivey. Sherman graduated from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1995 at which time he became the law clerk for Judge Rosemary Chambers, who served in Place 9 for 25 years before Sherman took office, according to information provided by a campaign website. He was in private practice in Mobile for 15 years, primarily focused on family law. He stopped practicing law briefly while attending divinity school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and was pastor at Spring Hill Baptist Church, where he was ordained as a minister.
• Judge Michael Youngpeter is running unopposed for re-election as a Republican in Place 10. Youngpeter graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1982 and earned a law degree from The University of Alabama in 1987. He was admitted to the state bar the same year. Youngpeter was in private practice from 1987 to 2007 when he was appointed to serve on the Circuit Court by Gov. Bob Riley. He is a member of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, a member of the Alabama Association of Circuit Judges and a member of the Autism Society of Alabama.