Stetson grads face off for judgeship listen06/06/12 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 weâ€™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.
â€œIâ€™m also a community volunteer. Iâ€™ve been active with the Junior League of St. Petersburg for almost nine years now. For those of you who donâ€™t know about Junior League, itâ€™s a volunteer organization that gives the opportunity to give hands on hours at places like CASA, Brookwood, Clothes to Kids, Girls Incorporated. Iâ€™ve been out there in the community learning about whatâ€™s out there beyond our legal world. Junior League also taught me about civic leadership.â€
â€œAnd I volunteer frequently at the school. I think itâ€™s important to be involved in our childrensâ€™ lives. Also, Iâ€™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 itâ€™s like to be on the other side, to have your own practice and to answer to clients.â€
â€œBack 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 itâ€™s at his office that I learned how to make decisions. I learned that every decision that a prosecutor makes affects peopleâ€™s lives. And itâ€™s not just the people who are being accused of crimes. Itâ€™s also their family members, the victims, the witnesses, the law enforcement officers. They affect everyone.â€
Her opponent, Scott Andringa, is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law and a cancer survivor.
â€œThen 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 attorneyâ€™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, Iâ€™ve tried it over the course of about 11 years as a prosecutor.â€
â€œIâ€™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.â€
â€œI left the state attorneyâ€™s office in 2006 and ever since Iâ€™ve run my own law practice here in Pinellas County predominantly doing criminal law, but I also do traffic. Iâ€™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 wasnâ€™t really my bailiwick.â€
â€œThe important thing about me is that I not only handle criminal defense, but also traffic as well as mediations and Iâ€™m also serving as a juvenile arbitrator here in Pinellas County.â€
â€œAnd I also practice in federal court and I handle both privately retained and court appointed cases in both state and federal court. I think thatâ€™s important because it gives me a broad perspective of the system.â€
Keep listening to the WMNF Drive Time news this week for information on the four remaining candidates in two other judicial races.