Local judges matter

Local judges matter
August 27
10:00 2020

By Whit Davis

My name is Whit Davis and I am your Democratic candidate for District Court Judge, Seat 8, in November. For the last seven years, I’ve worked as an assistant public defender, representing the people of Forsyth County in matters ranging from speeding tickets to second-degree murder. I want to be your next District Court Judge because I believe local judges who have represented the communities that they serve can better relate to the people who come before them, can exercise greater empathy and compassion in the cases that they hear, and can render better and fairer decisions, and thus can make a more positive impact on the community from the bench. And that is my goal, to improve my community.

Forsyth County is my community. I grew up in Winston-Salem and graduated from Reynolds High School. After graduating from Duke University, I worked for a couple of years as an environmental scientist, and then attended Tulane Law School in New Orleans. After graduating from Tulane, I returned to Winston-Salem to practice law. I worked in private practice for two years before taking my current job at the Public Defender’s Office.

In addition to my job serving the people of Forsyth County, I also serve on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. Both of my parents spent their careers helping children in Forsyth County learn and grow, and I think I developed my special concern for children’s welfare from them. My mother worked as an art teacher for 25 years at several Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, including Kimberley Park, Diggs-Latham, and Whitaker before retiring, and my father worked as a child clinical psychologist at Winston-Salem Healthcare, primarily testing children with possible learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

Local judges matter. If you ever have to go to court for a case, chances are you will be in District Court. District Court judges handle all aspects of divorce, such as child custody, child support, spousal support and property distribution. They also hear all misdemeanor cases, juvenile delinquency petitions, civil litigation less than $25,000, and they set bond conditions at inmates’ first appearance. I have been representing defendants in District and Superior Courts for the last nine years, making sure each and every one of my clients receives due process and equal protection of the law. As a judge, I will treat both sides in every case I hear fairly and impartially, and apply the law without bias.

As a voter, you have a unique opportunity to choose who will be deciding important issues in Forsyth County residents’ everyday lives. Please exercise that opportunity by voting in the District Court Judge, Seat 8 race between me and my Republican opponent. Our race will be located near the bottom of an already long 2020 General Election ballot. Due to COVID-19, consider requesting a mail-in absentee ballot if you do not feel comfortable voting in-person. If you do vote in-person, consider doing so during Early Voting in case there is a problem with your registration, so it can be fixed before the General Election on Nov. 3. Voter suppression efforts are underway, and it will take all of us working together to combat them. 

For more information on voting, please visit

Whit Davis is the Democratic candidate for District Court Judge, District 21, Seat 8, and is a member of the NAACP and the National Organization for Women, and is also an associate member of the African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party. For more information about the candidate, please visit

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