A defense attorney and part-time judge will faceoff Tuesday, Nov. 3 for the right to replace District Judge Joe Basenberg.
In one of the more quiet down-ballot races, Republican Zack Moore will meet Democrat Alan Colvin in the general election.
For about five years, Moore has served as a special judge in both Municipal Court and District Court, but is running to take the job in the higher court full time.
“There’s always a learning curve,” he said. “Certainly, I’ve done it many times before.”
Moore views the job of a judge as an impartial observer, focused on fairness within the confines of the laws as written.
“You start from the position where you hope to ensure that anyone from any walk of life … anybody who walks into a courtroom, that they feel it’s a level playing field,” he said. “My opinion is the role of a judge is two things: admissible evidence and the written law. I don’t think it’s the role of a judge to advocate for or write laws from the bench.”
A prosecutor turned private practice attorney, Moore said his interest in the law and watching lawyers do their work has driven his desire to sit on the bench.
“I’ve come to enjoy the perspective you get from sitting on the bench,” he said. “In any profession, there’s always wanting to take that next step. I was a prosecutor; I’ve done defense work. I’ve done a lot of things you can do with law.”
Alan “Big Al” Colvin said as a criminal defense and personal injury attorney he’s always “kind of gravitated toward District Court.” So, it makes sense he would seek a seat on the bench. Growing up in a lower-middle-class family, Colvin said, will help him relate to those before him in court.
“You need somebody on the bench who can relate in some way,” he said.
Colvin hopes voters will elect him to allow for some political variety on the court. If elected, he would be the only Democrat on the county bench. At the same time, he wants the electorate to view him by his credentials and not the letter before his name on the ballot.
“It’s polarized nationally, but I try not to get wrapped up in it,” he said. “Most everyone votes to live in a safe county, to raise their children to get a good education. I’m a regular guy. I own a gun.”
When it comes to doing the job of a judge, Colvin believes it’s about fairness and public safety.
“With every decision they make, public safety should be a primary concern every day,” he said. “Average, hardworking folks should get a fair shake.”
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