Karlos Finley, the lone Democratic candidate vying for a seat on the Mobile County Circuit Court in the 13th Judicial Circuit, Place No. 6 will face off against a Republican challenger who had to fight her way to the top in November.
Before the June 5 primary, four Republican candidates vied for a seat on the circuit court; two candidates garnered enough support to throw the race into a runoff election: Brandy Hambright and Harry Satterwhite.
Hambright won the runoff with over just over 50 percent of the votes, and now faces Finley in the November 6 general election.
But who are these candidates, and what do they hope to accomplish?
Democratic candidate Karlos Finley:
Finley comes from a long line of movers and shakers in Mobile, Ala. His father opened the first African-American chain of drug stores in the state of Alabama, and “his parents, along with other progressive thinkers, led the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in Mobile with the goal of bringing about a more unified community and equality for all of the city’s citizens,” Finley’s campaign website reads. “Their efforts helped to send the first African-American State Representatives from Mobile County to the Alabama State House in 1974.”
After graduating from high school, Finley himself joined the U.S. Coast Guard, receiving several medals for his efforts during Gulf Coast Hurricanes including the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal. Upon his honorable discharge, Finley attended the University of Mobile receiving his Bachelors degree, then Miles School of Law to earn his Juris Doctorate.
Finley has since served in the Mobile County District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney, and practiced as a personal injury lawyer with the Moore and Wolfe and the, Boteler and Wolfe legal firms according to his LinkedIn profile.
In 2011 he was promoted to Partner and now practices with the Boteler, Finley, and Wolfe firm; and in 2015 was appointed as a Municipal Court Judge for the city of Mobile, according to Mobile City Council meeting minutes.
On top of his impressive legal career, Finley serves on several boards in Mobile County including the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama, Bishop State Community College Foundation, and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation. He also serves as Vice President of the Mobile Bar Foundation.
“I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I have inherited a passion for service to community and I am the most qualified person for the position,” Finley told Alabama Today. “Our community deserves the most qualified person serving it on the highest Trial Court for our state.”
“I am the only candidate in this race with experience as both an attorney and a judge, an undisputed fact that should weigh heavily on the minds of voters,” Finley continued. “It is critical that all who enter our courts have confidence that they will be treated fairly, have an equal chance to be heard and that their position will be considered by a judge who will weigh the evidence equally.”