Kwashnak running for Superior Court Judge
Published 1:00 pm Thursday, March 3, 2016
AMERICUS — Kevin Kwashnak has announced that he is running for Superior Court Judge for the Southwestern Judicial Circuit. He would replace the retiring Judge George Peagler.
Kwashnak currently works for the Office of the Circuit Public Defender, though he has taken a leave of absence for this campaign. He has handled cases in all of the counties for the Southwestern Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Lee, Macon, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, and Webster counties. His representation of clients has covered everything from traffic offenses up to murder trials. Kwashnak believes that it is his job to get the best outcome for each client in each case, and to make sure that no client is convicted without the prosecutor having the necessary evidence to prove guilt and making the state present its evidence.
Prior to working as a public defender, Kwashnak worked for Judge Peagler, as well as Judges Rucker Smith and John Harper, as the Southwestern Circuit’s law clerk. In that job he worked inside the court system as the three judges’ legal researcher, and informed the judges of the current status of the law on cases, both criminal and civil, that came before the court.
If elected he would go from advising the judges to the person being advised.
Kwashnak has been involved in many activities besides representing clients, both as part of his profession and as a member of the community. As part of his job, he is the representative from the Office of the Circuit Public Defender to Judge James Sizemore’s Accountability Drug Court. In that assignment he represents the participants that mostly have been given one last chance in an intensive drug treatment program monitored by the court instead of going off to the prison system. His function has been to advocate for those that have suffered setbacks in the program, and to make sure they are treated fairly and in accordance with the program’s rules and procedures.
For the past several years, Kwashnak has participated in the Chief Justice’s Committee on Professionalism’s presentation to incoming law students at Mercer School of Law, from where he graduated. This presentation during orientation is meant to introduce the students to the ideas of ethics and professionalism that they are going to experience both while students and in their professional careers. Kwashnak believes professionalism is important in the legal field. He believes that too many times attorneys have a “win at all costs” mentality, and view any disagreement with the attorney’s position as a personal attack, or choose to take personally positions and arguments that should be professional.
Besides his professional activities, Kwashnak is also involved in his local community. He is a member of the Americus Kiwanis Club, a civic organization dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Besides participating in the club’s many events, he has served as both the treasurer and twice as a member of the board of directors.
Recently Kwashnak has also joined the board of directors for the Americus-Sumter Fuller Center for Housing, currently serving as secretary to the organization. This is the local chapter of the Fuller Center for Housing, an international organization created by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. The Americus-Sumter Fuller Center is currently focused on helping those who cannot do so themselves repair and refurbish homes to an habitable state, along with constructing new homes as needed in the community. This is an organization carrying on the vision of the Fullers in providing safe and affordable housing for all.
Kwashnak said, “One truth I have learned throughout all the cases I have handled is that each case is more than just a set of facts. Each case, whether criminal or civil, involved real people facing real issues. Each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, whether plaintiff, defendant, witness, or victim.”
You can learn more about Kwashnak through his website, www.KevinKwashnakforJudge.com, or by visiting his Facebook Page “Kevin Kwashnak for Superior Court Judge.”