The Ridgecrest judiciary system is at a crossroads. The current local judge, Kenneth Pritchard, is retiring. A local candidate and a Bakersfield resident are being considered to replace him.
The City of Ridgecrest recently fought a hard battle to keep a local courthouse. Not only was there an effort to take the Ridgecrest courthouse off the list to receive a new courthouse, but the existing courthouse was under threat of closure. Ridgecrest and Eastern Kern County need and deserve local access to court justice. Tracey Gallagher was a strong advocate for keeping local access to the court system.
A local courthouse represents a local cost savings to our community in addition to protecting our constitutional rights. The cost incurred by the City of Ridgecrest to prosecute criminals would increase dramatically if we lost our courthouse. The city does not need and cannot afford additional costs related to prosecuting criminals in a distant judicial courtroom. The local money would be better used to improve city services and increase city employee salaries. The loss of our courthouse would also mean a loss of courthouse employees.
Tracey Gallagher has a proven track record of tough but fair treatment of all alleged criminals. She is a knowledgeable and tough constitutional attorney who will put her 17 years of Kern County Court experience to work for us. She will continue her fight to keep local access to the court system for Eastern Kern County and our local navy personnel.
I urge all voters to vote for Tracey Gallagher for Superior Court Judge.