Stetson grads face off for judgeship
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06/06/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

And today we continue our coverage of Pinellas and Pasco contested judge races. Today we’ll highlight the candidates for Pinellas County Court Group 2, Cathy McKyton and Scott Andringa. McKyton is an assistant statewide prosecutor in the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“I’m also a community volunteer. I’ve been active with the Junior League of St. Petersburg for almost nine years now. For those of you who don’t know about Junior League, it’s a volunteer organization that gives the opportunity to give hands on hours at places like CASA, Brookwood, Clothes to Kids, Girls Incorporated. I’ve been out there in the community learning about what’s out there beyond our legal world. Junior League also taught me about civic leadership.”

“And I volunteer frequently at the school. I think it’s important to be involved in our childrens’ lives. Also, I’m a wife. My husband has a practice here in St. Petersburg and what that gives me is a little bit of perspective, just a little bit of insight into what it’s like to be on the other side, to have your own practice and to answer to clients.”

“Back in law school, I was a guardian ad-litem, I was a public service fellow and when I graduated from Stetson in 1997, I went to work as an Assistant State Attorney for Bernie McCabe here in Pinellas County. Those of you who have heard me speak know that I like to give Mr. McCabe a lot of credit because it’s at his office that I learned how to make decisions. I learned that every decision that a prosecutor makes affects people’s lives. And it’s not just the people who are being accused of crimes. It’s also their family members, the victims, the witnesses, the law enforcement officers. They affect everyone.”

Her opponent, Scott Andringa, is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law and a cancer survivor.

“Then I became an Assistant State Attorney in Pinellas County. I was an assistant in misdemeanors for a couple of years before going to felonies in Pasco county. I worked in New Port Richey for about nine years before ascending to lead trial attorney. That was when I left the state attorney’s office in Pasco County I was a lead trial attorney. Kind of supervising other lawyers and helping them with their jobs and trying a lot of cases. I basically tried murders, manslaughter. You name it, I’ve tried it over the course of about 11 years as a prosecutor.”

“I’ve done a lot of speaking for Moffitt Cancer Center to help raise money for the Sarcoma program over there and I participated in events with the Livestrong foundation which is a nationwide cancer charity.”

“I left the state attorney’s office in 2006 and ever since I’ve run my own law practice here in Pinellas County predominantly doing criminal law, but I also do traffic. I’m also certified as a mediator in circuit and county cases. I was briefly certified to do family law cases as a mediator, but I decided that wasn’t really my bailiwick.”

“The important thing about me is that I not only handle criminal defense, but also traffic as well as mediations and I’m also serving as a juvenile arbitrator here in Pinellas County.”

“And I also practice in federal court and I handle both privately retained and court appointed cases in both state and federal court. I think that’s important because it gives me a broad perspective of the system.”

Keep listening to the WMNF Drive Time news this week for information on the four remaining candidates in two other judicial races.

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