Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and the Executive Committee of the Kings County Democratic County Committee on Tuesday endorsed four judicial candidates for election for Civil Court, Kings County, and one for Surrogate Court, Kings County.
The endorsements for Civil Court are: Marva Brown, Esq.; Monique Holaman, Esq.; Turquoise Haskin, Esq.; and Betsey Jean-Jacques, Esq.
For Surrogate Court, the Brooklyn Democratic Party endorsed Hon. Bernard J. Graham (Acting Surrogate Court Judge).
Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, said the Democratic candidates were endorsed by an overwhelming majority of District Leaders at Friday’s Executive Committee meeting to run for open bench seats in June’s Primary Election.
She said the endorsements involved “an unprecedented level of community input” gathered at last week’s Candidate Community Forum, hosted by the party’s newly-formed Ad-Hoc Judiciary Committee.
ThepParty facilitated a candidate forum with its Ad-Hoc Judiciary Committee, chaired by Dana Rachlin, District Leader (AD 50), which “allowed people most impacted by the criminal legal system to ask questions of the candidates and provide feedback to their District Leaders,” Rachlin said.
“We’re proud to endorse four qualified women of color for Civil Court as we continue to help elect competent and diverse Judges,” said Bichotte Hermelyn.
Endorsed Candidates’ Experience
Marva Brown has worked as a Public Defender for nearly 15 years.
Monique Holaman has served as a Law Clerk for Kings County Supreme Court for over a decade.
Since 2009, Turquoise Haskin has served in the New York Unified Court System, currently the Principal Law Clerk to Justice Carolyn E. Wade in Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term.
Betsey Jean-Jacques currently serves as the Principal Law Clerk to the Hon. Francois Rivera in the Civil Term of Kings County Supreme Court, and is on the Board of Directors for the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.
Hon. Bernard Graham joined the bench in 2005 as an NYC Civil Court Judge, was elected as a Kings County Supreme Court Judge in 2013, and started serving as Acting Surrogate Court Judge this year to fill a vacancy.
Judges of the Civil Court are elected to serve terms of 10 years, and Kings County Surrogate Judge is an elected position with a 14-year term.
“Each judicial candidate was first thoroughly vetted by the longstanding Judicial Screening Committee for their legal acumen and qualifications,” said Bichotte Hermelyn. “After candidates were screened and approved, the Ad-Hoc Judiciary Committee then gathered vital community feedback on those candidates, which was given to our District Leaders who provided nomination recommendations.
“This enhanced process further ensures the party is backing culturally competent Judges to serve the needs of all Brooklynites fairly and impartially,” she added. “We’re pleased to promote these candidates who follow a progressive approach to justice and have the experience and expertise to serve our constituents.”