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Apr 28, 2006

Durham Voters - Re-Elect Judge Ann McCown, District Court

An endorsement from my trusted friend Susan Olive of Durham:



Please join me in supporting Judge Ann McKown for re-election as a District Court Judge in Durham County. The election for her seat will largely be determined on May 2nd. No matter what your party, as long as you are registered to vote in Durham County, you can vote in this election--and your vote is important.

I have known Ann McKown for almost thirty years, and know that she has earned your support. If you think that judicial races aren't important, or that you don't know enough to vote--think again, and read on.

District Court judges are the “face” of the judicial system. Most of the people who have business with the courts, conduct that business in District Court. These judges decide who gets custody of a child, what happens to a juvenile who has run afoul of the law, and how property--even multi-million dollar estates--is divided when there is a divorce. Most criminal and traffic charges are disposed of in this court. These are judges who can make a difference in our community, and Ann McKown is one of the judges who DO make a big, positive, difference.

Ann was nominated by the lawyers of Durham and appointed to the bench in 1997 after practicing law in Durham for more than twenty years. She has twice been re-elected for four-year terms, first in 1998 and again in 2002. She has earned a reputation for listening closely and patiently to those who appear before her, ensuring that all sides are heard, and then applying both her knowledge of the law and her common sense to reach an appropriate decision.

Tough but fair, she has placed a big emphasis on reducing truancy and working to rehabilitate children whenever possible, initiating programs that have been described as “compassionate compulsion” to keep kids in school, off the streets, and out of gangs. She has a long record of community service in Durham, including chairing the family selection committee of Habitat for Humanity and as a founder of the Durham/Orange Coalition for Battered Women and the Durham Rape Crisis Center. Ann’s supporters span all sectors of the community, all races, all genders, all ages, and all incomes.

It was Ann McKown who brought Truancy Court to Durham—the program that gets judges, parents, and schools involved as soon as kids start skipping school, so that these children don’t move on to violent crime. That program won a national award for Durham and its Family Court. It is Ann who is working with the County Commissioners as chair of the Substance Abuse Committee of the Durham County Criminal Justice Partnership Board to get appropriate treatment for addicted offenders so that they don’t continue committing crimes in order to support their habits.

Even those who oppose her call her record "exemplary." They only question whether she is the most "efficient" possible judge. But that's not the point. Ann McKown understands, when she sits in Family Court, that nothing is more important in a person's life than the welfare of his or her child. She understands, in every case that she hears, that her decisions have lifelong impact. She invests the time that each case requires, to ensure that cases are decided right the first time. She is punctual, and stays late when necessary to make sure that everyone has had a full and fair hearing. As a result, she has decided over 50,000 cases, has reduced her court's backlog to under three cases, and has an enviable record on appeal. That's true efficiency. Shaving a few minutes from the court day so that lawyers and the judge could leave at 4:30 instead of at 5 isn't a valuable goal, and isn't worth compromising justice.

The election for this judge’s position will largely be determined during the non-partisan primary election, which is May 2nd. Ann is the kind of District Court judge we need! Ann is in her ninth year on the bench and has decided more than 50,000 cases as a judge. Her experience and expertise make her the best candidate in this race.


Call me with any questions. And for even more information, visit the campaign website at www.JudgeAnnMcKown.com.


Susan Olive

12:16 AM in Editorial | Permalink


funny you should post this - my mother called me and said if I knew anyone in Durham County, to tell them about Nancy Gordon, since I think she knows a relative of hers.

I don't know a thing about her though - and don't live in Durham county, either.

Posted by: pinky | Apr 28, 2006 1:54:30 PM

Actually, I would like to endorse one of the other candidates in this race. I can tell you that I will be voting for Shannon Tucker, and I would like to encourage you all to do the same. Iknow Shannon is dedicated to making a difference in this community, and knowing Shannon, I believe she can do it!

No matter who you choose in this race, or the school board race, the important thing is that everyone gets out and votes!! See you at the polls.

Posted by: kaaren | May 1, 2006 9:13:01 PM