I am committed to preserving the rule of law

The election of a circuit judge is a rare occurrence, unlike other public officials who stand for election. Judges don’t have platforms and they cannot promise sweeping institutional reforms, nor can they signal in any fashion that they have a predisposition toward any side in a controversy.

This commitment to the principles of fairness and impartiality is a necessary component of a functioning judicial system. If the public cannot trust their judges to be fair, then the entire system lacks foundation. However, this loyalty to impartiality has the consequence of leaving the public without their traditional tools for assessing a candidate.

Nevertheless, a judicial candidate’s professional background, community involvement and personal history are good metrics for weighing a candidate’s fitness for judicial office. Please allow me to share a little of my story.

I was born in St. Augustine but grew up in Sanford. I am the oldest of three children raised by my mother, Mary, who was an elementary school teacher for over 40 years and my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth, a migrant worker who spent most of her life working in the fields and groves of Central and North Florida.

AuBroncee Martin

AuBroncee Martin

After high school I attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, where I received an undergraduate degree in history. While at Florida A&M I became a member of the world-renowned Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band, an organization that is near and dear to my heart because it was where I first learned what it meant to be truly excellent.

In 1995, I enrolled at the University of Florida College of Law. Upon graduation from law school, I was hired by the then-elected Public Defender Rick Parker. Since that time, I have devoted the past 24 years of my life to defending the rule of law here in the Eighth Judicial Circuit by ensuring that indigent citizens are treated fairly and justly.

Presently, I am a felony division chief in the Office of the Public Defender. Additionally, I have worked as an adjunct professor at the UF Levin College of Law, where I have taught aspiring lawyers the art of trial advocacy. I’m a member of the Florida Bar and the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Florida, as well as being a Florida Supreme Court Certified County and Family Court Mediator.

I have had the honor of serving as president of the Eighth Judicial Circuit chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and president of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, as well as president of the Josiah T. Walls Bar Association.

My service to the community includes serving as president of the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sister of Mid Florida, chairman of the Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board, a commissioner for the Alachua County Charter Review Commission, a member of the board of directors of Junior Achievement Alachua County and Cub Master for Pack 454 Alachua District.

I have been married for 23 years to my wonderful wife, Telisha, and I am father to three incredible sons, Jared, Jason and Elijah. I am asking for the privilege of serving as your circuit court judge because I am committed to the preservation of the rule of law.

I am steady in my belief that all individuals and institutions should be held equally accountable to the laws that bind and protect us all. Most importantly, I shall be faithful to the ideal that justice, compassion and hope are essential components of any strong, vibrant and resilient community. Thank you for your consideration.

AuBroncee Martin is running for the Eighth Judicial Circuit judge. This piece is part of a series of opinion columns written by candidates for office that are being published before November’s election.

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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: AuBroncee Martin: A commitment to the preservation of the rule of law

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