On November 6th, voters in Bossier and Webster Parishes will decided on more than just who they want for President. The retirement of Judge Bruce Bolin has opened up the 26th Judicial District judgeship, with three men challenging for the position: Mike Nerren, John Slattery and Whit Graves. KSLA News 12's Adam Hooper sat down with all three candidates, and you can watch the full interviews with all three.
Mike Nerren, currently an Assistant District Attorney for Bossier and Webster Parishes, points to his experience. "Our jurisdiction is a jurisdiction where the judges handle general case, general case jurisdiction. They handle family law cases. They handle civil law cases. They rotate into criminal law and they also rotate into juvenile law. You are looking for someone who has experience in all four areas. Now, trying one or two or three cases in those areas is not exactly experience. I have been involved in all four areas and handled numerous cases: Hundreds of divorce cases, hundreds of custody cases. I've handled hundreds of civil cases through my career. I also handled hundreds of criminal cases, adult as well as juvenile."
Nerren and wife Suzanne have been married for nearly 22 years and live in Benton with their three children.
Judge John Slattery currently serves as City and Juvenile Court Judge for Springhill, holding the seats for the past 12 and 10 years respectively. "In those twelve years I've heard 40-thousand cases. I've had to decide what evidence comes in and what does not...who is guilty and who is not guilty. (I've decided) in civil cases who wins and who loses and (by) how much." His judicial duties also spread beyond the Springhill city limits. He was appointed to serve as Judge Pro Tem for Bossier City and the Bossier/Webster 26th Judicial District. He also served 15 years as an Assistant District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District. Outside of his judicial duties, he's been a part of the law firm McConnell & Slattery for almost three decades.
Slattery and his wife of 30 years, Laurie, have five children.
One of Whit Graves earlier jobs put him on the enforcement side of the law as a Louisiana State Trooper, where he was also a part of the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. After spending close to 12 years with the State Police, he went back to school to earn a law degree. He's also worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Bossier/Webster Parish. "I've had experience in all aspects of the judicial district by being a police officer, a persecutor, as a plaintiff's attorney, (and) as a defense attorney, "he said."I've see it to know where some problems are and I can foresee where our problems are going to be in the future."
Whit Graves works as an attorney in Bossier City, which is also where he grew up. Graves and his wife Robin have two sons.