Politics CAMPAIGN 2018: Q&A with Circuit Judge Martha Williams | The Cullman Tribune


CAMPAIGN 2018: Q&A with Circuit Judge Martha Williams

Circuit Judge Martha Williams (Martha Williams)

CULLMAN - Recently, The Tribune spoke to incumbent Circuit Judge Martha Williams, who is facing a fierce challenge from Melvin Hasting for her seat.  Hasting and his supporters have gone after Williams’ handling of certain cases, both in print media and face-to-face at a series of Cullman County Republican Party town hall meetings around the county.

What made you want to become a judge to begin with?

“I’ve always been a peacemaker, and so I think that the challenge of trying to settle disputes between people or companies, or those kinds of things is something has always intrigued me.  I’ve had a long private practice, and then, after I was at the district attorney’s office, I just felt like it was time. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

What do you hope to accomplish in your next term in office?

“We have already started trying to be more efficient with the limited actual resources that we have.  We have less personnel, we have more cases than judges to handle all of that. So Judge (Gregory) Nicholas and I, who is the other circuit judge, have divided our docket so that I’m responsible primarily for the criminal dockets, and he for the domestic dockets.  We have tried to streamline our administrative duties so that we can spend more time with the cases that are in front of us. I would hope that, in the next term, that we could continue that and be even more efficient.

“But also, I’ve had the honor to be on the task force for development of some kind of mental health resources here in Cullman County, and I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to do more for the folks that sometimes will end up before me, and really need treatment.”

Are there differences between you and your opponent that are important to consider?

“Well, I would say the main difference is that I’ve had so much more experience.  I’ve had experience both in private practice, and also as a prosecutor. So every case that will come before me, and that has come before me, I’ve handled, and I’ve handled them from both sides.  I have the experience, and I have the desire to continue to work for my community, and I want to serve.”

When asked if she wanted to address attacks by Hastings supporters through The Victim’s Voice PAC in local print media and social media, Williams declined.

If you had to boil your message down to a concise statement, what would you want people to know about you?

“I think I have a unique set of talents and experience to serve this community, and I want to continue.”

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