Barnett seeks JP Pct. 1 seat

Published 10:45 am Monday, September 10, 2018

By Gail Barnett

To all of the citizens of Orange County, Precinct 1:

Please allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Gail Barnett, I am the wife of Keith Barnett of Barnett’s Upholstery, who is a life-time resident of the City of Orange, and I am a candidate for the office of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1.

I moved to Orange in September 2005, following the advent of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Born and raised in the state of Mississippi, I am a graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where I earned a B.A. degree, and of Texas Southern University in Houston, TX, where I earned my law degree. My experience includes:

Orange County: current member of the board of the City of Orange Economic Development Corporation; past member of the board of the Orange Habitat for Humanities; past service as Assistant Orange County Attorney; associations with Catholic Charities of Southeast and St. Francis Cabrini of Lake Charles; completed the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Sheriff’s Academy Training.

Mississippi: elected as a Family Court Judge and County Attorney; appointed as Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem for the City of Canton.

Professional memberships include the State Bar of Texas, The College of the State Bar of Texas, American Judges Association, and Mississippi State Bar.

Recognizing that JP Court is the “People’s Court”, I am honored to bring this wealth of legal experience to Orange County to serve as the next Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, and I believe that, with the complex legal issues that present in any court, every community deserves to have the most experienced and qualified community member representing all.

My husband, Keith and I are members of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, where we each teach Sunday school. I also participate in several Orange community organizations, including the Bread of Heaven Outreach Ministry.

I’ve been a licensed attorney for over 30 years, including 26 years as a trial attorney and 9 years as a trial judge. That experience will benefit you, the people of Precinct One, because you deserve someone who knows the law and how to apply it fairly and objectively. Having previously served as a member of the judiciary, once elected and once appointed in non-partisan capacities, I know that judges are called upon to serve all the people. As judicial officers, we cannot afford to be considered the democrat’s judge nor the republican’s judge, because we are called upon to be the “People’s Judge”. We are supposed to sit with impartiality to all; listen to every case and listen to all the facts, before any decision is made. We can’t afford to be pro-prosecution or law enforcement, nor can we be pro-defense. But the one thing we are called upon to be is pro “the Rule of Law”. My job will be to listen to the facts, know the law, and be able to apply the law to that particular set of facts, and give a just ruling. Every individual that enters a courtroom should expect to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness. They should feel that they each have an equal opportunity to prevail in their respective case and not feel defeated before their case even gets started. So I recognize that my job is to sit and listen, then hear and apply. I seek this position for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, so that all people may be given this opportunity.

On November 6th, I ask that each of you exercise your individual right to vote. “Think it, No Straight Ticket; Mark the Bubbles, It’s Worth the Trouble”!! If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until October 9th to register for the November 6th, general election.