You be the judge: Whit Graves or Mike Nerren in Dist. 26 race - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

You be the judge: Whit Graves or Mike Nerren in Dist. 26 race

Whit Graves Whit Graves
Mike Nerren Mike Nerren

The two men vying to become the next district judge in Webster and Bossier Parishes may have offices near each other, but they're miles apart when it comes to how each one would serve in the 26th Judicial District. Whit Graves and Mike Nerren each tout 'experience' as their biggest strengths. But, it's the kinds of experience which set them apart.

Spend five minutes with Bossier area attorney Whit Graves and he'll tell you exactly how his 35 years of experience as a state trooper, a prosecutor and a private attorney makes him the perfect man to serve as the next judge in the 26th Judicial District. "And that's what we need most in a judge, somebody who's seen every aspect of it, every side of it and knows the in's and out's of the judicial system."

"It's the way he defines experience is the confusion. What he wants you to believe is that time is experience. But the reality is courtroom experience is experience," said Mike Nerren. He's Graves' challenger in the race and says 'his' experience comes from 18 years as an attorney. "In all areas, domestic, civil, criminal and juvenile, across the board."

But Graves says his 12 years as a prosecutor uniquely set him apart because of his experience with jury trials. "Jury trials are the most important things we do in a district court. And district court is the only place that we have jury trials...and to me that's the most important because that's where the citizens have the direct say."

But Nerren says he's had plenty of success as an assistant D.A. the last four years in the same parishes he's hoping to be a judge. Besides, he says, the two men have faced off in the past: "Me and Mr. graves have had one jury trial against each other, very, very early in my career when he was a prosecutor and I prevailed in that. I'm sure (laugh), I'm sure he didn't want to talk about that. but I did prevail in that one."

Whoever does prevail in the Saturday runoff election will have done the better job in getting out their core supporters, for an election day that is not expected to have a strong turnout overall.



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