Kayla Jackson-Williams, a local senior associate attorney, announced her candidacy for Associate Circuit Judge for Division X in a statement Monday morning.

If elected, she would become Boone County’s first ever Black judge.

Division X handles all family law matters, according to the Missouri Courts website. Jackson-Williams, though, said “a lot of people don’t realize that (this) seat ... encompasses more than just family court. It also encompasses some juvenile court.”

A former public defender, Jackson-Williams “provided a voice to individuals who often felt overlooked and unheard,” according to the statement.

“I firmly believe that people don’t care what you know until they know you care,” she said in the statement. “As an attorney, I’ve modeled my practice around this theory, and as a Judge, I will do the same.”

Jackson-Williams is running for this seat on a more symbolic platform.

“If there was a platform to be had,” she said, “it would just be honesty, non-bias and indifference to anyone who comes before me.”

Jackson-Williams is the first attorney to announce their candidacy for the Division X seat. Next year’s general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022.

Becoming the first Black judge in Boone County holds significance to Jackson-Williams.

“I’ve worked extremely hard throughout my career, both undergrad and graduate,” she said, “to be greater than what the expectations are for a lot of Black people ... and for me it would just be breaking barriers and being more of the expectation versus the exception.”

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