Bar Association rates judicial candidates, Trussville resident Ginger Barbee fares poorly
In a press release this week, The Birmingham Bar Association announced the results of a poll by their members that rated all judicial races in Jefferson County. The candidates were rated as highly qualified, qualified, not qualified, or no opinion. The 687 Bar members who participated in the poll crossed party lines giving high and low marks to candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties in different races.
The Probate Judge Place 2 race between incumbent Sherrie Friday and Trussville resident Ginger Barbee drew one of the most contrasting votes in the poll. In that race, 72 percent found Friday highly qualified or qualified compared to just 9 percent for Barbee, giving Barbee the lowest rating among all candidates. Friday had a highly qualified rating of 58 percent, compared to Barbee’s 3 percent, the second lowest rating among all candidates. Ninety two percent of poll participants rated Barbee either not qualified or had no opinion.
Several candidates received a majority Highly Qualified in their races. Those candidates include; Jim Hughey-D with a 71 percent highly qualified rating over Bobby Lott-R with an 11 percent highly qualified rating for Circuit Judge Place 9 ; William (Bill) Cole-R, who received a 62 percent highly qualified rating compared to Democrat challenger Tracie Todd with only a 2 percent highly qualified vote in the Circuit Judge Place 7 race; Sherrie Coleman Friday-D received a 58 percent highly qualified rating over Ginger McCord Barbee-R who drew only a 3 percent highly qualified rating for Probate Judge Place 2; and Virginia Vinson-D with a 52 percent highly qualified vote compared to Jim Neill-R with 10 percent vote for Circuit Judge Place 27.
Brian Huff-R, candidate for Circuit Judge Place 18; Pat Thetford-R, candidate for Circuit Judge Place 13; and David Faulkner-R, candidate for Circuit Judge Place 6, all received a 50 percent highly qualified rating.
According to the press release, “The Birmingham Bar polls it’s members in advance of local judicial elections in an effort to help inform the public on opinions of bar members concerning the qualifications of candidates for judicial office,” said Joe Falwal, current president of the 4,000 member Bar. “This information in no way endorses any particular candidate, but simply provides the opinions of Bar members who choose to participate in the poll.”
The Birmingham Bar Association is the largest in the state and one of the oldest in the nation. You can see the entire poll here.