To the Journal editor:
Last summer I was one of the five candidates for Marquette County probate judge. This is the first time that I ever ran for public office, and it was an interesting experience.
I met many interesting people and learned about what it takes to be an effective probate court judge. I appreciate all of the people who supported me in my campaign and I also appreciate those who supported other candidates but were willing to talk to me about my campaign.
Both of my colleagues who are still in the running, George Hyde and Cheryl Hill are well-qualified candidates, each with unique qualifications to bring to this position. However, as a lawyer who regularly represents people in the probate court, I have seen George Hyde on the bench in his role as referee, and I am very impressed.
He listens respectfully to all of the parties, he makes fair and thoughtful decisions, and he explains his reasoning well. In juvenile court hearings, he explains to the youngsters why what they did was wrong and why they should change their behavior.
In abuse and neglect hearings, he explains to the parents why he is making his decision. His rulings are fair, reasoned and independent. He does not "rubber stamp" his rulings based on what one party wants, but listens to everyone and makes his decision based on what he believes is best for everyone involved.
Not every juvenile before him likes his rulings (including some of my clients), but every one of those youngsters knows that he or she is being treated fairly and respectfully. I think that George Hyde would be a great judge and encourage you to vote for him, especially those of you who supported me last summer. There are many excellent and talented people who work in the juvenile and probate court systems and I believe that George Hyde would continue to maintain the same level of judicial professionalism, independence and excellence that we already enjoy in Marquette County.