JBA, Perkins Bar host combined candidate forum

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  • | 12:00 p.m. August 18, 2008
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by Joe Wilhelm Jr.

Staff Writer

The Jacksonville Bar Association and D.W. Perkins Bar Association teamed up to host a legal candidate forum at Florida Coastal School of Law Thursday night.

About 140 people attended the event to find out more about the candidates running for offices in the judicial system.

Candidates in contested races for Circuit Judge, State Attorney and Public Defender were given a chance to tell the public why they are qualified to hold office and answer questions about their background.

After opening statements, the candidates were questioned by panelists Joe Camerlengo, president of the JBA, Rhonda Peoples-Waters, president of the D.W. Perkins Bar Association, Jim Bailey, publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record and Paul Pinkham, a reporter from The Florida Times-Union. Candidates were also given time to respond to statements made by their opponents.

“I am very proud of each of the Jacksonville lawyers,” said Dan Bean, president-elect of the JBA. “I think that they comported themselves quite well.”

That sentiment was felt by Perkins Bar President Rhonda Peoples-Waters, as well.

“The event went very well and the candidates were very candid and honest,” she said. “This was the first time, that I know of, that our associations combined to hold an event. We are looking forward to having more events together.”

Candidates who attended the debate included, Mark Hulsey and Adrian Soud for Circuit Judge Group 11; Rick Buttner and Virginia Norton for Circuit Judge Group 28; Angela Corey and Jay Plotkin for State Attorney; Matt Shirk and Bill White for Public Defender.

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