Winter Haven, Florida , United States
Aug 08, 2018 05:51pm
|Info||I was the youngest of ten children and my mother was still pregnant with me when my father left for good. We grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma, without electricity, running water, or plumbing. When I was four, our house burned down and destroyed what little we had. Our small town came together and donated enough money for a down payment on a new home. That sort of generosity and empathy is sorely lacking in Tallahassee where instead of investing in our children, politicians have slashed services for our most vulnerable – our children and our seniors. |
I have a deep appreciation for the transformative effects of teachers and of public education.
All that I have been able to achieve as a law school professor, a lawyer, and a judge, began with the intervention of several key educators at my public school who put me on a path to becoming the first of my family to attend college. My top priority will be to ensure every child in Florida receives an excellent education in safe, well-funded public schools by well-paid teachers who are treated with the respect they deserve.
After serving our country in the Navy in Vietnam, I continued my education with a law degree (JD) from the University of Oklahoma and a master of laws (LLM) and doctorate (SJD) from the University of Wisconsin. I spent nine years as a law school professor at Ole Miss and Mercer before moving to Winter Haven where I met my wife of 3 decades, Chelle. In 1994, I was elected judge in the 10th Circuit Court where I presided over thousands of family law cases until retiring in 2010.