Why run for Judge?
Since I announced my candidacy for NC Superior Court Judge I have been asked many times, “Why am I running for Judge?”
To better answer this question I will have to go back a few months. In late Fall, I was encouraged by several friends / colleagues to run for Superior Court Judge in the 2016 Judicial Election. I always dreamed of one day becoming a Judge; however, I did not anticipate the opportunity to run for election to avail itself so quickly. I discussed it with my family, but I had several reservations…. I was leaping into a political realm of which I had no experience. I feared the effect on my family, the time spent campaigning, and the potential loss of election. I was concerned that I may not have enough political connections or ties to the community to get me more than a handful of votes. I almost worried myself out of running.
One morning I was taking my daughter to Isabelle to school, and out of the blue she said that she wanted me to run to become Judge. I was rather surprised when my five-year old said this, and I quickly responded, “But what if I try really hard to do it, and at the end then I lose?” She quickly retorted, “So what? Daddy, it doesn’t matter if you lose, there is always next year.” By her saying those simple words, she helped me to make my decision. Ultimately, after several weeks of reflection, thought, and prayer, my decision to run for Judge was solidified during a conversation with my kindergartner.
That answers the question as to why I am running for Judge NOW, but it does not answer the underlying question of why I am running for Judge? For that, I think it is best to reflect on the beginning of my law career.
The background to my decision to run for Judge
When I started my solo practice in Iredell County in 2005, I had dreams of building a large firm, and climbing the professional ladder as a successful trial attorney. I wanted to be a managing partner of a multi-lawyer firm, and be known and respected in the legal community. I quickly began to learn the business side of running an office, as well as networking with my colleagues and friends. It was challenging, and exciting, and truly fun. In 2006, I began working alongside a childhood friend and now attorney. We were “living the dream”.
As our law firm and practice grew, so did my level of responsibility and stress. I was working longer and longer hours, trying to grow my practice and firm, thinking that it was just a matter of time before I felt emotionally and financially content. I was working hard, trying to do the best for my family, but was missing the quality time with my child, and I felt guilty for that. I was not involved in as many civic organizations as I wanted to be, and felt that I was growing more detached from my community as a whole. On October 20, 2011 I was faced with the reality that it was time for a change. I had too much to drink after a social gathering and made the poor decision to drive home. I was charged with and later plead guilty to, driving while impaired. That was the last time I ever had a drink. Ever.
Over the next few years, I considered how to better navigate a work/life balance, and find time for the values with which I had reconnected. Ultimately, I decided to withdraw from the Statesville law practice I built from the ground up. I wanted to build a new practice, where I could prioritize my family and community how I had envisioned. It was just before the birth of our second daughter, that my wife and I decided a law practice in Davie County, our home, felt right.
Since opening my law firm in Mocksville, I have felt peace and contentment with my decision. I had professional connections and experiences in Davie and Davidson counties already, but now I am a part of the physical community. I am now blessed to have a chance to be more involved with the community through various church and/or civic functions. The more involved I become, the more my community becomes my family.
My practice has grown and is thriving. However, becoming a Judge has been a dream of mine since I was very young. It would be the pinnacle of my career.
I want to be the next Superior Court Judge because I want to serve the residents of North Carolina by administering justice without favoritism to anyone or to the State. I want to faithfully discharge all the duties of the Superior Court Judge to the best of my ability and understanding. I want to serve my neighbors consistent with the Constitution and laws of this great State. I want to serve through stewardship and service.
I believe that Davie and Davidson counties have exceptional communities. My life experiences offer a unique perspective to humbly and respectfully serve as the next NC Superior Court Judge for District 22B. I am now thirty-five years old, and if elected, I hope to serve as Superior Court Judge for decades to come.
I hope to earn your vote for Superior Court Judge.
Jon W. Welborn Candidate for Superior Court Judge 16′