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District judge candidates respond to Press-Herald questions

The next District Judge for Webster and Bossier parishes will be decided Oct. 14.

Assistant District Attorney Lane Pittard and lawyer Cynthia Carroll-Bridges were the only two candidates to qualify to fill the vacant seat and unexpired term of Jeff Cox, who was elected to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal last year.

Pittard currently serves as First Assistant District Attorney for Bossier and Webster parishes and has held that position for 14 years. He is Certified Public Accountant, a small business owner, and has practiced law for more than 24 years.

Pittard, a native of Minden, is avid outdoorsman and musician. He is a member of the praise band of band at the First United Methodist Church in Bossier City. He and Adelise, his wife of 36 years, live in Benton. They have two sons, Rob who works for a movie production company and Don who works for the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Carroll-Bridges, a lifelong Republican and a lawyer who practices in the areas of family law and mediation, serves as a member of both the Bossier Bar Association and the Shreveport Bar Association and previously served as President of the Women’s Section of the Shreveport Bar Association. Carroll-Bridges is also a certified mediator with Effective Mediation Services, handling civil and family law matters. She finds mediation to be very fulfilling because she can bring broken families to the table to work out their issues together amicably.

Both candidates were asked the same questions via phone. The following is their responses.

Why would you like to be the next District Judge?

LP: “So I can continue to serve the same citizens that I currently serve as a prosecutor, but in a different capacity.”

CCB: “I want to be the next District Judge just to have a change up there. There’s no diversity on the bench. There’s never been a woman on the bench. I think I would bring a different perspective and I think it’s time for a change.”

How will your past career experiences help you if you are elected?

LP: “I’ve been a criminal prosecutor the last 14 years and currently the chief criminal prosecutor for our district. I’ve prosecuted many criminal cases and jury trials. One of the things that a judge has to do is rule objections during the course of jury trials. I’m uniquely qualified in that aspect. Also, I’m a certified public accountant so I’m certified with business litigation matters.

CCB: “I’ve handled a little bit of everything. Nothing is foreign to me. More specifically, I’ve handled a lot of family law cases with my mediation background. Family law is pretty important … if I can treat each of those families as a unit to help them heal, it might have a ripple effect and help society all around.”

What will be your priorities be if you are elected?

LP: “My priorities are probably best found in Micah [6:8], where it says to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with the Lord. That is what I intend to do. That’s one I’ve done with my career in the DA’s office and that’s what I intend to continue doing as a judge.”

CCB: “To make my courtroom efficient, to treat everyone fairly and honestly. I’m all about victims rights. I want to see any of the criminals that need to be fully prosecuted that they’re actually being prosecuted and I’m not just taking plea deals that don’t necessarily smell right.”

Would you make any changes to the system if elected?

LP: “I’m open to changes, but I think that we have a very efficient court system when you consider the volume of cases we handle in court. It’s not perfect … I see how other jurisdictions do things and maybe I’m bias, but I think our system is better. We do better with less.”

CCB: “That’s a tough one because I don’t know what changes we could make to the system. Our job is to basically enforce the law. If the law is broken, there are consequences. If anything, I’d like to see it more efficient and easier for people to get through the system. I don’t know what you can change short of just being there everyday and making sure the job gets done to the best of your ability.”

What would you like to say to potential voters?

LP: “I promise that, if I’m elected, I will continue to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly. That’s what I intend to do.”

CCB: “I’m not a politician. I’m not part of the good ole’ boys system. I’m doing it for the people, not for the politics. I’m going to treat everyone the same, fairly and honestly. I think it’s time for a change and I’m ready to do it.”