Judge candidate could make history, says representation of minorities and women matters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- In a historic election cycle with an unprecedented number of women running for office, Judge Christina Elmore is hoping to become the first African-American woman to serve on Michigan's 17th Circuit Court.

The 2018 midterms have seen more women running for office than ever before. Elmore says that representation of a broad scope of races and genders is important.

“People, they don’t understand the importance of like, a local judgeship race," Elmore tells FOX 17.

Elmore currently serves on the 61st District Court and is one of four candidates running for 17th Circuit Court. Her opponents are Curt Benson, Alida Bryant and Scott A. Noto.

The only other African-American to ever serve on that court was Judge John T. Letts, who was elected in 1967.

“Just having that representation would mean a lot for people that have to come into court and believing that they’re really getting a fair shake or that someone kind of knows where they’re coming from," Elmore says.

In Michigan, the 2018 midterms have already made history with an all-female Democratic ticket for statewide office. While Elmore is non-partisan, she says judges should represent the people they serve.

“I’ve had experiences, as an African-American that I know other judges that are on the bench that I’m on now, as well as on Circuit Court, they just haven’t had," Elmore says. "There’s things that they haven’t had to deal with that I’ve had to deal with.”

One of those experiences happened five years ago when one of her sons, who was 16 years old at the time, was coming home from work. Elmore says he got off at his bus stop and started walking toward their home, which was in a predominantly white area.

“He looked out of place in this neighborhood," Elmore says.

She says police officers stopped her son.

“And they’re like, ‘Well where are you going?’ And he’s like, ‘Well I’m going home. I just live up the block,'" Elmore says. "And he has a backpack, so they ask to search his backpack and I don’t think that they would have gone to those lengths if he was not an African-American young man walking through that area.”

She says they searched his backpack, found nothing and let him go on his way without incident but it left him shaken and scared, similar to experiences she recalls as a child growing up in Grand Rapids.

“I do remember walking with other black kids, going to a game, a football game and having kids throwing eggs at us and yelling racial slurs out of the windows of their cars as they’re driving by," Elmore says.

Elmore says while the city has come a long way since then, the diversity of race and gender in the courts has not.

“Women make up more than half of the population and so when you look at the court here, there’s three female judges up at the Circuit Court level out of the 14 judges up there," Elmore says. "So that means 11 are men making these decisions and they’re making these decision about things that affect women.”

The midterm election is on November 6. To see your sample ballot, click here.

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12 comments

  • Bob

    A judge should be on the court because of their knowledge of the law and their ability to be fair and impartial. Gender, race, religion, fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, etc. should not be a reason to elect some one. Sounds like Judge Christina Elmore would favor minorities and women and not be impartial.

    • tired of the crap

      I’m glad someone else had that same thought – being a judge is about being impartial – she just basically said that’s going to be difficult for her….

    • Jake

      That is a reach. She’s been proven more qualified than the other candidates and is already on a court. Therefore, her knowledge of the law should be without question. If you can assume that she is not impartial solely because of her gender, race, and experiences, then I can assume you’re a white man afraid that your male dominance and white privilege are in jeopardy.

  • steve

    There are more than a few instances in society today where the worst thing a person can be is a white, non-veteran male. People like this lady would never agree, but it’s true.

    • Corey

      I’d be willing to bet that in all two of those instances being a black ex convict of a non-violent crime is worse so yeah i can see why she wouldn’t agree. “People like this” Do you mean blacks?

    • Sonya

      Steve it doesn’t take much to not be a non-veteran white male. If that’s your only problem you could have saved your self some embarrassment and just joined the army. How can you compare what we go through daily with that?.
      You are so right people like myself don’t agree because, we can risk our lives and still gets no respect.
      We can’t change what people hate about us and if i could i still wouldn’t…
      (GET IT TOGEATHER AND JUST JOIN THE ARMY)

    • Sonya

      Steve it doesn’t take much to not be a non-veteran white male. If that’s your only problem you could have saved your self some embarrassment and just joined the army… How can you compare what we go through daily because, of our color with a goal you couldn’t complete.
      You are definitely right about one thing people like myself don’t agree…
      We can go out and, risk our lives to fight war for our country and, still gets no respect.
      So if that’s all you got holding you down then you’re doing good.
      We can’t change what people hate about us even if I could I still wouldn’t because I love me and, we shouldn’t have to.. Now on the other hand yours is easy to fix (GET IT TOGETHER AND JUST JOIN THE MILITARY OR SOMETHING) So we don’t have to hear about how hard it is for you to be a white non veteran male…

  • Brandon Austin

    I am a male affected by overruling in favor of woman. I think this judge if shes running on this titled platform is prejudice to begin with. I’m about minority support being a caucasian male… but woman… I’m about to have a gender identity issue… because I live who God created me to be but I want representation as a mother gets with her child. Yeah… I’m talking custudy in which I can prove lies… no good foundation is formed off from a false premise. Who you arguing with a fool? Nope… Just A Jesus Freak!

  • Unslaved

    An evil system is always evil and can’t be fixed from within. “Law enforcement” is inherently immoral because it requires the enforcers to violently force beings with free will into some behavior they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves, because a politician declared performing some other behavior surrenders all of your natural rights.
    Any system that involves violently coercing people into different behaviors is evil and it’s only because of constant propaganda that you seem to think it’s normal and natural.