Richardson Announces Her Candidacy for County Judge Seat 2
By Diamond Hunt-Coleman
Senior Outlook Writer
On a warm September day in Tallahassee, attorney Monique Richardson decided that there was an announcement to be made. From the time she made her decision, Richardson knew that the road ahead of her would not be an easy one nor would it be short. But before she could begin her journey, she had to let the city know just what she had planned.
On Sept. 16, Richardson gathered family, friends and many other supporters at the DoubleTree Hotel to publically announce that she will be running for County Judge Seat 2 in the upcoming election.
“I decided to run because I think I have the qualifications, I care about this community and what happens to people who come through county court (and) I certainly have the experience,” said Richardson. “A lot of what I do with legal services deals with county court.”
Richardson who is often described as caring and approachable, currently works as the senior attorney at Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF) based in Tallahassee. At LSNF she handles cases anywhere from domestic and sexual violence to elder law. She is most often recognized for her work that she does for her disabled clients.
As the campaign kickoff progressed her father, Bishop A.J. Richardson took the podium. In his speech he expressed how proud he was of his daughter
“Today, I am not the bishop. I’m Mr. Richardson,” said Richardson. “It is important for me to say that because today I represent the father of our candidate. My wife and I always knew in our hearts that Monique was gifted and destined for something a little beyond ordinary.”
The event served not only as a launching party for Richardson’s campaign, but also served as a fundraiser for the campaign. Supporters were asked to support Richardson`s campaign by either donating money to purchase commercials, radio slots or billboards or to support her by telling their friends and families what Richardson stands for.
But it wasn’t hard for people like Marie Riou to openly say that they support Richardson and her campaign.
“I support her because I believe in her practice, her talent and her capability of being the next judge,” said Riou. “I believe in her way of being approachable and her caring spirit and caring heart that has been expressed throughout her work in North Florida.”
However, Riou was not the first person to believe and she will not be the last. From the event, it was apparent that Richardson has a very strong support system. A strong link in her chain is former Senator Al Lawson.
“I`ve known Monique since she was a little girl. When she worked in the office with me I always knew she was destined for something greater,” said Lawson. “When I heard that Monique was running for judge, I got excited. I got excited because when you’ve been around the judicial system as long as I, you have the opportunity to see what is going on across the United States. It’s very important that we have judges that are not only intelligent but are caring about the people and let me tell you that Monique is that person.”
Richardson is vying for the county judge seat recently held by J. Layne Smith. Smith was appointed to the seat by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in March. That seat was vacated by Judith Hawkins. Smith has filed to run for the judge seat against Richardson.
As the Sept. 16 event came to a close, Richardson’s campaign manager left the crowd with these parting words, “Don’t give because you know Mr. Richardson. Don’t give because you know Mrs. Richardson. Don’t give because you know Monique. Give because you know that Monique is the most qualified.”