Dear women voters of Lincoln County

As a female voter, I am a strong proponent of diversity and will often vote for a female candidate if I feel they are qualified. However, I would not do that when it comes to the circuit court judge race in Lincoln County. In this case, I would prioritize deep knowledge of the law, integrity and a bone-deep commitment to upholding the law — as demonstrated by judicial candidate Russell Baldwin — far more highly than concerns of gender, race, etc. 

I am further troubled by Sheryl Bachart's own statement printed in the News-Times on April 29, where she openly admits she has made many mistakes, and that those where she misread someone are the ones that keep her awake many nights. A person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty and should not be falsely incarcerated by a judge that may have misread them or already had a previous bias, when there is no jury trial. That result is truly tragic and very damaging to individuals and their families for years to come.

Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that our elected officials, including this judge race, be a person of the utmost integrity, who will honor their oath of office, be held accountable and who is highly educated and experienced in the law. We do not need people in public service who can be bought and sold to the highest bidder. I believe people are tired of this and want change for the better. 

My support is for Russ Baldwin, who I believe will be the best choice for Lincoln County. 

Ashley Smith



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