Judge candidates tout qualities for seat

Voters in Algiers will decide this weekend who will occupy the bench at 2nd City Court after the retirement of its longtime occupant.

Kiana Aaron-Mitchell will face off against E. “Teena” Anderson-Trahan during the runoff election on Saturday. Aaron-Mitchell led the field of six candidates with 35 percent of the vote during the Nov. 6 primary; Anderson-Trahan came in second with 25 percent.

The candidates are aiming to replace Judge Mary “KK” Norman, who is retiring after many years on the bench.

Aaron-Mitchell has said that her experience as an attorney who handles workmen’s compensation defense has prepared her for the courthouse’s docket. Additionally, she has said, her experience working with her husband at a law firm gives her the administrative experience necessary for the position.

Her ideas for the courthouse, if elected, include holding small claims court on Saturdays once a month in an effort to help people who can’t give up a day of work to go to the courthouse. She has said she also is concerned about the aging Algiers Courthouse and wants to work on a plan to open a wedding chapel there to help fund its maintenance.

While she has picked up endorsements from Marie Williams-Brigandi and Ed Markle, two of her former contenders, she said that support from residents also has grown. Still, she said, some people need to be educated that the runoff is imminent since some don’t realize there was not an outright winner. “My biggest issue is just that people who voted for me in the primary vote again,” she said on Tuesday.

Anderson-Trahan touts her deep roots in Algiers and two decades of experience practicing law. She received her undergraduate degree from Loyola in political science and her law degree from Southern University, her website said. She is married to Kenneth Trahan and has two children.

She said that as a seventh-generation resident of Algiers, she has knowledge not only about the law but the West Bank of Orleans Parish that will make her effective on the bench.

She said she would like to make the courthouse more user-friendly by adding an evening docket to help people who cannot escape work during the day and wants to work with the clerk and constable to upgrade the court’s Web presence, which is lacking right now.

“It’s time to elect a new judge with the most experience and who is ready” for the job, she said.