Judge Andrew Hairston, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for Alabama's Ninth Judicial Circuit, which serves Cherokee and DeKalb counties.
He seeks the seat vacated by Judge Randall Cole, who is retiring.
"In my legal career, I've been a judge, prosecutor and public defender," Hairston said. "I believe serving in those positions, as well as the experience garnered from my law practice, allows me the unique opportunity to be the most qualified candidate for this position."
The DeKalb County native, raised on Lookout Mountain, serves as municipal judge for Fort Payne and Geraldine, a prosecutor in Sylvania and as a public defender in Rainesville. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from Jacksonville State University and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law.
"I'm running for circuit judge because I believe we need honest, dependable, leadership in public office," Hairston said. "Circuit judges are entrusted with the most important assignment of protecting the constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Alabama. I pledge that, if elected, I will be a faithful servant to the amazing people of Cherokee and DeKalb counties."
Hairston cites a lifelong commitment to public service, including his 2004 election to the Fort Payne City Council when he was 19 years old. He has served on local numerous community boards and now serves as chairman of the DeKalb County Relay for Life Committee, which is the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
He has voiced concern over illegal drug problems facing the young people of Cherokee and DeKalb counties, pledging to "confront the drug abuse epidemic head on" and supporting the use of faith-based addiction recovery programs.
"We need to be aggressive and administer swift justice to those individuals who manufacture, transport and distribute drugs in our communities," Hairston said.