A day in the courtroom of a chancery judge can be as challenging as the family matters they preside over, ranging from custody hearings to divorce cases, to wills and more. The decisions they make have lifelong consequences.
Sandy Steckler has been a judge for 12 years and says he’s best qualified to make those decisions. Steckler says, "We probably deal with more life changing experiences than a surgeon would, and my question is: would you want a surgeon that’s never performed an operation?"
Steckler practiced law for 35 years before being appointed and re-elected as Chancery Judge. Opponent, Ronnie Cochran, says the real qualifications are not measured by time on the bench. Cochran says, "The words on my campaign literature are compassion, fairness, and integrity, and those are qualities that I will bring to the bench."
Cochran says his 32 years of practicing law in a variety of cases make him just as qualified to be Chancery Judge. If elected, he plans to focus more efforts on protecting children in the courtroom. Cochran also says, "I think that there should be some programs that focus on children who are going through the judicial process."
Steckler says he is the candidate who has already made changes in the judicial system. He served on the State Legislature in the Judicial Committee, and is now working with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Steckler closes, "Working with the Supreme Court with trying to improve the status of children in our state. We have a lot of problems with child abuse, child neglect. It’s probably worse on the Coast than some other areas."
The final words from both candidates: come out and vote no matter who you support. This week, Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, asks voters to check their voting precinct locations and check that they have the proper photo or voter ID.