Despite filing several weeks ago, Michelle Cheney has formally announced her candidacy for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1. Even though she has practiced several areas of law, including civil litigation, family law, and bankruptcy law, she doesn’t come to the race as a prosecutor or defense attorney, but rather as a candidate who is willing to listen to both sides. She notes that if there is one thing that her extensive experience as a successful mediator has taught her is that there are always two sides to the story, adding “The worst trait that any judge can bring to the bench is a bias.” She feels she is in a unique position to see different views, especially in the area of driving while intoxicated. This week marks the one year anniversary of when Cheney, her husband, and daughter were hit head-on and nearly killed by an intoxicated driver. “As I worked with MADD and other victims, it was disheartening to see the number of victims whose cases would not see justice because the police couldn’t do a simple blood draw without a warrant.” On the flip side, through criminal defense cases, she has also reviewed patrol videos of people accused of DWI where the only evidence was a subjective field sobriety test. “Whether it’s a victim or a person wrongfully accused, it is a sickening feeling knowing that one test, a blood test, would have made the difference.” Because she is a licensed attorney, she would be able to sign blood warrants to insure that the most valuable piece of evidence was preserved for the jury. If elected, she would be the only J.P. in Kaufman with this authority.
After the collision, Doctors told her that it could take her up to 18 months to walk unassisted. She was walking in four months. Her motivation to walk….and then run for J.P. is not as a survivor of a DWI, but as a member of a community that needs closure. “Because this position was previously occupied by Eric Williams, the experience left a dark mark on our community,” explains Cheney. “When people ask about my campaign –‘For a brighter future’—my goal is to honor the memory of Mark, Mike, and Cynthia by bringing a light of professionalism and honor to this position. Our community needs more than just a political figure head. Kaufman deserves a candidate who understands the value of a true commitment to their community and I believe that I am that candidate.”