Meet the candidates for 14th Judicial District Judge

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 9:04 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish will elect a new judge to the Fourteenth Judicial District Court of Louisiana in the Oct. 14 election.

Earlier this year, State District Judge Derek Kee decided to leave the bench and return to private law practice, leaving an opening for judge in Division F.

Two local attorneys, Satrica Williams Bensaadat and Bobby Holmes, are vying for the spot, and we spoke to both of them about why they are running and what they hope to accomplish.

Early voting for the gubernatorial primary election begins Saturday, Sept. 30. For more election coverage, CLICK HERE.

What makes you qualified to be state district judge?

Williams: “In addition to my vast array of experience in the practice of law, doing it for the past 24 years, I think what uniquely set me aside for this position is that I’m currently your administrative law judge here for a Lake Charles, so I’m getting hands-on experience right now as being an administrative law judge.”

Holmes: “I have the practical experience. I am actually practicing law at this moment. I tell everyone to go check the clerk system As most know I was handling criminal cases up until August 9 of this year and have consistently, continuously practiced law.”

What is your top goal or priority?

Williams: “What I want to do when I become the next judicial district court judge is promulgate what’s called a help desk because I believe that the citizens of Lake Charles who don’t have the money to come before the court can come to that helpd esk and get assistance filing suits that otherwise they can’t file.”

Holmes: “It has to be to rehabilitate people. I’ve told everyone since I’ve been out campaigning that 95% of people will return to our community at some point and so we need to make them better than they were when they went in when they come out. So, for me. I want to show that compassion, help them get the education of job skills they need to come out and be productive citizens here in Calcasieu Parish.”

How will you assure fair treatment to all who come before you?

Williams: “I am a business owner here, and one of the things that ground me here in Lake Charles is that I do pay taxes here, I do have my businesses here. I do know a lot of people here and they know me, they know who I am and they know that I’m a fair person. I work with, I have over 100-something employees that knows Ms. Williams is going to treat me fair.”

Holmes: “Both parties have a right to be heard prior to you making a decision. So I just look to give both sides a fair and equal opportunity, and when you do that, I think you’ll stay out of trouble. That’s really a big thing when you put that robe on.”

Are you confident you can follow the code of conduct?

Williams: “If they come before me and it doesn’t go in their favor and we’re not friends because of that, we weren’t true friends before.”

Holmes: “There’s always gonna be somebody who’s not gonna like what you do, and so as a judge you have to be okay with that. When you take that seat, put that robe on, you have to understand that you have to do what is right in accordance with the law and the facts and live with everybody’s not going to like your decision.”