Circuit Court judge: Davis, Geil, Orr, Parker

    Candidates for judge, clockwise from left: Joe Davis, Nick Geil, Laurance Parker, David Orr.

    Here are the responses of Jackson County Circuit Court judge candidates to a Mail Tribune questionnaire about their top priorities if elected. If a candidate wins more than 50 percent of votes in the primary, he would win the office. If no one wins a majority, the top two vote-getters would face off in November. The winner will succeed Judge Ron Grensky, who decided not to run for re-election.

    Ballots for the May 15 primary were mailed Friday and must be returned by 8 p.m. Election Day.

    Joe Davis

    Age: 45

    Residence: Medford

    Occupation: Lawyer

    Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Oregon School of Law; Bachelor of Arts, Northwestern University; North Medford High School grad

    Political experience: Board of Education, Rogue Community College

    Why do you think you’d make a good judge?

    My longstanding ties to Jackson County, my broad professional qualifications, and my dedication to our community provide me the experience needed to serve Jackson County.

    What are your top two priorities if elected?

    Ensuring that all members of our community have equal access to justice. The fair and equitable application of our constitution and laws is the cornerstone of both a healthy justice system and a just society.

    Making wise use of the community’s resources to confront the issues of crime, especially crimes associated with substance abuse, which are prevalent in Jackson County. It is incumbent upon judges to use our resources in a way that will be effective in reducing crime without being cost prohibitive.

    Nick Geil

    Age: 37

    Residence: Medford

    Occupation: Prosecutor

    Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Oregon; Bachelor of Arts, University of Oregon; Associate of Arts, Central Oregon Community College

    Political Experience: None

    Why do you think you’d make a good judge?

    As a prosecutor, my goal has always been to protect and build our community, to make it a stronger and safer place. My expertise in the courtroom, combined with my experience, gives me the vision to see how judges can make our community an even better place to call home.

    What are your top two priorities if elected?

    Fighting the opioid crisis: Drug abuse is the leading cause of crime-related problems in our community. Earlier intervention in the drug-addiction cycle needs to occur; drug offenders require access to early treatment and gainful employment before they spiral down into overdoses and/or serious property crime.

    Advocating for improved mental health outcomes: Often, people experiencing mental health crises are arrested, released and re-experience crisis. In order to break the cycle of mental health issues leading to arrest, our Mental Health Court program requires expansion to support these individuals during probation by ensuring that they access treatment.

    David Orr

    Age: 54

    Residence: Medford

    Occupation: Jackson County deputy district attorney

    Education: Juris Doctor, Washburn University School of Law; Bachelor of Science, University of Kansas

    Political experience: Jackson County MDT (Child Abuse Prevention) 2007-12; Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) 2014-18; deputy district attorney; deputy public defender

    Why do you think you’d make a good judge?

    Balanced perspective gained from 23 years on both sides of the justice system — prosecution and defense. No campaign donations accepted from attorneys or anyone else.

    What are your top two priorities if elected?

    Restoring public faith in the justice system. Government functions properly only when people can trust that courts will administer the law in a transparent, impartial and nonpolitical manner that upholds our constitutional rights in cases of police overreach. Courts belong to the people — not the government.

    Utilizing our limited jail space more sensibly, by focusing on chronic, repeat offenders, and on those who present actual danger to the public. Crimes against children must take priority. Sentences of community service work can replace jail sentences for certain offenses.

    Laurance W. Parker

    Age: 60

    Residence: Medford

    Occupation: Lawyer

    Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Oregon, 1988; Bachelor of Science, Southern Oregon State College, 1985

    Political experience: None

    Why do you think you’d make a good judge?

    I’m dedicated to family. I’m dedicated to veterans, recognizing the difficulties faced by vets. I’m dedicated to justice, for 30 years representing indigent people.

    What are your top two priorities if elected?

    My first priority is veterans — a special court, perhaps, that addresses the needs and challenges that vets face. I think the courts currently are struggling with volume, ever-tightening restrictions and interference concerning how lawyers resolve cases, and funding. My goal as a judge will be to assert the prominence of veterans in our community so as to address what I believe to be an overlooked population.

    My second top priority is the needs of the mentally ill, who are often in a system barely able to meet their needs. Oftentimes these priorities present in the same case, the same person.

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