Next month voters in district court division -"F"- will try to fill some big shoes long time Judge Wilford Carter recently retired and now three candidates are vying to replace him and tonight, they answered questions at a public forum.
Whoever is elected could be with this community for a long time. But the question is how will they be different from judge carter?
"My philosophy however is as the law requires a person is innocent until proven guilty. a bond is only necessary to require that you appear in court. Some folks think that the bond ought to be used to punish a person. I don't and I think I have the support of the law and my bond setting reflects that philosophy."
That's a quote from the former Judge Carter responding to some of his policies while judge. He was the last voice that represented division ""F"" for district court. A voice that some people didn't always agree with.
But now it's time to elect a new judge to represent north Lake Charles and the community got it's chance to hear what each candidate had to say.
Mark Dranet came out to see what the candidates had to say.
"I'm a concerned citizen, I'm very active in the community and I'm concerned about who's going to represent us in the court room."
One of those candidates that made his case was Derrick Kee
"My philosophy is gathered around what I believe to be a problem. Our problem is Louisiana incarcerates more of its citizens than anywhere else in the world, that's problem. We have to find solutions for that we have to be innovative. We have to prefer rehabilitation over incarceration." Said Kee when talking about his philosophies dealing with the judicial system.
But Kee isn't the only one who came to address the people Sharon Wilson also picked up the microphone to talk to concerned citizens.
"I would have to just be me. That in of itself would be different than judge carter. There's something that judge carter has done as far as setting reasonable bonds that I'll continue, but other things that he's done that I'll probably do differently, because I'm a different individual." Said Wilson about how she would approach the position if elected.
But there was one more candidate Michael need who stood before the audience and addressed concerns about their community.
"My ideologies, my moral, my character, my roots in the community as well as my involvement makes me distinct from the other candidates. I think the fact that my family is here I have some more accountability. I'm a hard worker compassionate. I'm independent, experienced and dedicated." Said Ned about his candidacy.
If you missed tonight's open forum there will be another one on march 22nd at Forman Reynard community center.