Judge Michelle Manley Thomason (R) addressed the St. Clair County Republican Party at their luncheon meeting at Market City Grill in Pell City. Judge Thomason is running in the July 17 Republican primary runoff for the Court of Civil Appeals Place One against Christy Olinger Edwards.
“Experience is what sets me apart from my opponent,” Thomason said. Thomason is a judge in Baldwin County and lives in Fairhope.
“I started one of the first veterans treatment courts,” Judge Thomason said. “I mentored with Judge Phil Seay who had the first court. “Families and children are very important to me.” 65 to 70 percent of the cases before the Court of Civil Appeals arise from family court. The rest of the cases come from civil suits. I have extensive experience in business and civil litigation experience from before I became a judge.
“I have twelve years as a family court judge,” Thomason said. There is no one on this court with that skills set.” “I am the only candidate in this race who has any civil trial experience at all. Judge Craig Pittman is retiring. He has endorsed me in this race.”
“Lawyers have to get 12 hours of continuing education a year and one of those hours has to be on ethics,” Judge Thomason said. “Judges do not have to get any continuing education. I strongly disagree with that. Since I became a judge, I have over 700 hours of continuing education and 50 hours of that have been in ethics. I received an award from the Chief Justice last year for that.”
“Ethics are rooted in conservative values, your faith and your family,” Thomason said.
“My father was a retired Navy veteran and had a 27 year career in law enforcement after that,” Thomason added. “I have been involved in my Republican party for over 16 years. I serve on the Baldwin County Republican Party Executive Committee and was head of our county Republican women for so long that I was term limited out.”
Thomason said that her conservative values will influence every case that I rule on.
“A Politico told me ‘Nobody really cares about your race, Michelle,” Thomason said. “I was deeply troubled by that. I believe that people in Alabama deeply care about children and families. They just don’t understand what this court does.”
Thomason said that those people do not want, “A judge who has not even handled one family court case,” speaking of her opponent when they appeal a family court case to the Court of Civil Appeals.
Thomason said that there is no incumbent in this race.
Thomason said that they are expecting only ten to twelves percent turn out in the party runoffs on July 17. “A lot of people in Alabama do not even know that there is a runoff.” I have friends who have taken my yard signs out of their yards because they thought I already won my race.
Thomason urged Republicans to take one of her yard signs, vote on July 17, and to phone or email all of their friends and tell them to come out and vote for her on election day.
For Court of Civil Appeals Place 1 there is a Republican primary runoff between Christy Olinger Edwards and Michelle Manley Thomason. There is no Democrat in this race so the GOP primary runoff will be winner take all.
Thomason denounced trade groups and business groups like the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) pouring large amounts of money into state judicial races. There is an appearance of impropriety when a judge has to rule on a case involving the businesses that funded their campaign.
St. Clair County Republican Party Chairman Lance Bell warned Republicans that Democrats are motivated this year so Republicans have to work harder this year supporting GOP candidates. Bell said that the party will have a free food meeting in September.