Brian Cloninger, a Henderson resident and private defense attorney at Cloninger Law Offices, PLLC, will challenge incumbent Katherine Burnette for district court judge of the Ninth Judicial District of North Carolina in the March 3, 2020 Primary election. This position serves Vance, Franklin, Granville, Warren and Person counties.
Cloninger attended public schools and graduated from the Reich School of Education at Appalachian State University in 2000 and the North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2006.
According to Cloninger’s website, he is a current member of the Vance County Bar, the 9th District Bar, the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the VCS Board of Directors.
He is the Immediate Past President of the Vance County Bar, the Immediate Past Chair of the Criminal Defense Section of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the Immediate Past Chair of the VCS Board of Directors Policy and Personnel Committee.
He is also a former member of the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.
Sharing his knowledge with other lawyers and judges, Cloninger teaches a class titled “Traffic Practice: Doing it Right and Solving Problems: Courthouse-Based Driver’s License Remediation,” which was approved by the North Carolina State Bar for credit toward required continuing legal education.
Cloninger has 14 years of legal experience practicing in the district courts of the 9th District with a concentration in civil and criminal cases. In a recent interview with WIZS, he said it is his experience and the encouragement of his peers that prompted him to enter the race.
“I’ve been asked by people in the system to run for judge, particularly for this seat. They think that I can help because I have been in the district courts of each of the counties in our district almost every day for 14 years. I know the law. I know about the people who make up the justice system and I know what they need to help make this particular seat a better seat.”
District court handles misdemeanor criminal and traffic matters, including domestic and family law cases. According to Cloninger, with 95% of cases ending in a plea deal or some form of deferred agreement, only 5% of district court cases go to trial. District courts see an exceptional amount of cases, with 200 cases on each criminal docket in Vance County alone.
For Cloninger, the incentive of serving as a district court judge is not financial but rewarding all the same. “The incentive is the ability to help more people, to make sure that our district court is a place that people feel like they can go to get equal justice,” he said.
“The role of a judge is to help victims feel safe and comfortable that justice has been served and help offenders get the rehabilitation they need so that once they’ve served their sentence, they can become productive members of the community.”
Cloninger is married and has two children. His wife, Alison Finch Cloninger, is also from Henderson. For more information on his campaign, please visit www.cloningerforjudge.com.
To hear the interview with Cloninger in its entirety, click on the link below.
(This is not a paid political advertisement. Political candidates are offered equal time.)
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