Voters in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties will vote in this non-partisan election of a judge to a six-year term in the 4th Judicial Circuit, Group 29.

The following two candidates will appear on the Aug. 14 primary ballot in this non-partisan election:

Alvin Wellington Barlow

AGE:  51

FAMILY:   Married 24 years to Cassandra Barlow; 3 children, 2 grandchildren

OCCUPATION:  CEO, A. Wellington Barlow, Esquire P.A.; pastor of New Life Assembly Tabernacle (Church) as of May 2012

EDUCATION:   J.D.  University of Florida College of Law, 1985; B.A. University of Florida College, 1893

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:   Gubernatorial appointment: 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission 1991-1995; elected and served as chairman; mayoral appointments: to Mayor's Council on Fitness and Wellbeing (Mayor Tommy Hazouri), Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund (Mayors John Delaney and John Peyton); worked to maintain the Citizen's Constitutional Right To Elect Circuit & County Judges (1991 thru 2000); successfully debated legislators, several Florida Bar Presidents, a Jacksonville Bar President and a former Florida Supreme Court Justice (Ben Overton) on the issue of whether the governor should appoint trial court judges exclusively or whether they should be both appointed and/or elected by the people in a type of hybrid system of elections and appointments; drafted and submitted an "opt-in/opt-out" amendment to Article V of the Florida Constitution to the 1997-1998 Constitution Revision Commission that was placed on the Fall 2000 ballot and voted into law

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

In my personal and professional opinion, the top three issues in this, and any judicial election/selection, are as follows:

  1. Ability & Willingness To Follow The Law: Defined as having the intellectual and experiential capability to follow the law regardless of pressure from outside forces
  2. Integrity: Defined as having a solid personal and professional reputation that is beyond reproach
  3. Fairness: Defined as the natural ability to be uncompromisingly fair to everyone regardless of age, ancestry, color, ethnicity, gender, homelessness, mental or physical disability, national origin, race religion or sexual orientation.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?

  • "By God's grace and mercy, I can help voters, litigators and the public at large in at least three ways my opponnent cannot. First and foremost, my 27 years of trial court experience in the legal profession consists of work in numerous disciplines of the law in which my opponent has no experience whatsoever. For example, I have practiced Civil Law (Drafting & Interpreting Contracts, Divorce, Child Support, Paternity, Worker Compensation, Landlord/Tenant) Criminal Law (prosecution & defense), Administrative Law (appealing public employee terminations and student expulsions from public schools). In this regard, my clientele has been businesses, churches, organizations, men, women, children and people of various races, religions, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. To the contrary, my opponent is a single dimensional candidate having practiced exclusively in criminal prosecution for approximately 25 years. His very background precipitates a legitimate question as to whether he can truly set aside 25 years of potential bias in favor of the police and prosecution to be an uncompromisingly fair Judge to everyone, even those who oppose or lack confidence in the police. My multifaceted legal background, multi-cultural and multi-racial experiences will enable me to literally "hit the ground running" in any discipline of law on day one. The chieif judge will be able to place me in any discipline of the law and I will be able to serve meaningfully, fairly and impartially without fear of harming the public. Although my opponent may have a genuine desire to become a circuit judge, without sufficient practical legal experience in various disciplines of the law, he will come to the bench with a substantial lack of basic legal knowledge in numerous areas of the law. This undesirable scenario can potentially lead to the rendering of harm to the general public until he can become proficient in numerous disciplines of the law that he currently has no experience whatsoever. The practical question is "would the public be better served by a judge who has experience in multiple disciplines of law or one who has absolutely no experience whatsoever in the disciplines in question?

    "Secondly, unlike my opponnent, I have been trained and served as a Certified Mediator. As a mediator, I volunteerily served to assist county court judges dispose of various types of small claims civil cases such as land-lord tenant issues, property boundary disputes, breach of contracts related to products and services and other such matters. My experience as a mediator further distinguishes me from my opponent as I have substantial experience in the art of facilitating the amicable resolution of disputes between feuding parties.

    "Finally, unlike my opponnent, I have the unique capability and hands on experiance of drafting legislation, amending laws and submitting the same to the legislature. This unique skill separates me from my opponent as it will enable me to suggest to the legislature certain amendments to current laws that have unintended negative consequences that may not have been contemplated when the laws were initially being debated and created. In other words, not only will I follow the current laws on the books, I am also fully equipped and experienced in amending "bad" laws into good laws. I have exercised this skill in the past by amending bills for several legislators. Moreover, I drafted and successfully advanced (into current law) an amendment to Article V of the Florida Constitution. With all due candor and humility, had I refrained from advancing the aforementioned constitutional amendment, this election may not have been possible because contested elections for County and Circuit Court Judges would have possibly been discontinued in lieu of Retention Elections. I have included two links of news articles covering the Fall 2000 election issue concerning the election or appointment of Circuit and County Court Judges in Florida."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "After having served as a Circuit Judge, I would hope and pray to be remembered as a judge who followed the law, treated everyone with dignity and respect, ruled expeditiously and applied the law fairly to everyone regardless of age, ancestry, color, ethnicity, gender, homelessness, mental or physical disability, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation!"

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  BarlowForJudge.com

Mark J. Borello

AGE:  49

FAMILY:  Wife, Jackie (married 23 years); 4 children: Michelle, Katherine, Matthew, Zachary

OCCUPATION:  Assistant state attorney (25 years)

EDUCATION:  Juris Doctor, Florida State University, 1987

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  First time running for elected office

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Character, integrity, and temperament. Circuit Judges have a great deal of power and responsibility, and it is vitally important to elect Judges who have earned the respect of their peers, and who are known to possess those qualities.
  2. "Experience. Judges should have a combination of extensive courtroom and trial experience, as well as administrative and supervisory experience, in order to efficiently run a crowded trial docket. I have by far the most experience in this regard in this race.
  3. "Support and endorsements from the legal, business, and political communities. I am endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Firefighters Local 122, Sheriffs John Rutherford and Rick Beseler, State Attorney Angela Corey, Former U.S. Attorney Paul Perez, Former President of the Florida Bar John DeVault, and numerous other leaders in our community."

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?

  • "I will continue to make decisions on behalf of the citizens of our community without regard to personal biases, just as I have done as an Assistant State Attorney for the past 25 years."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "I would hope to be remembered as a Judge who did his best to protect and uphold the constitution without legislating from the bench, and to walk in the path of justice for all the citizens of our community."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:   BorelloForJudge.com