One of the problems candidates for public office often face is a lack of name recognition among the community of voters who’ll be deciding the candidate’s political fate.
That is not a problem, however, for Bossier City attorney Jeff Thompson, who two weeks ago announced his candidacy for Bossier-Webster District Judge. Thompson is looking to fill the vacancy to be left by retiring Judge Ford Stinson on the 26th Judicial District Court bench.
Thompson’s name recognition is about as high as a candidate could hope for. He currently serves in the Louisiana House of Representatives serving District 8 – Bossier Parish. He serves on several House committees, but is probably best known for his work to protect the Second Amendment rights of Louisiana citizens. He also founded “Defend Louisiana,” a pro-Second Amendment rights organization.
But his recognition factor is broader still; he’s served as President of both the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. And he’s a member of the Bossier Parish Community College’s Board of Directors – where he also served as President.
Thompson graduated with honors from Tulane University School of Law and has practiced law in the local area for nearly 20 years.
A recent visit with Thompson was an opportunity to ask about his decision to leave legislative service and seek a judgeship. He first observed that two simultaneous open judgeships on the 26th JDC bench is a fairly rare opportunity and he looks at taking advantage such an opportunity presents him another way to serve the community.
“We have a history of fair and impartial judges that follow the law, and I want to continue that tradition,” Thompson said of the Bossier-Webster bench.
Thompson said that as a judge, “I want to provide a fair experience in the courtroom for everybody who walks in.”
According to Thompson, that experience means a judge who acts as a patient controller of the courtroom setting, putting in the work and time to ensure rulings that are fair and punctual, and being respectful of all in the courtroom from the litigants to the attorneys, and following the law.
Thompson was emphatic about the importance of electing judges who follow the law: “I don’t think we need activist judges who put their interests above the law.”
Whatever the reason that brings one to court, Thompson said, “I want you to feel like you have a level playing field when you come in that courtroom.”
Thompson and wife Toni have been married for 23 years and live in Benton. Their daughter Lillie attends Benton High School and son Rowe attends Benton Middle School.
Thompson will retain his legislative seat through the campaign, only stepping down if elected and then on taking office as a judge.
Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org