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Which are the most important elections facing Yellowstone County voters? I submit they are the elections for judges who will sit in judgment of you and your fellow citizens for the next six years.

The right to elect judges is the right to decide who will judge between you and your neighbor and who stands between you and the state. It’s an awesome right and responsibility and should be given your greatest consideration. We look at the election of judges differently than those of other public officials. For whatever reason, we are less likely to educate ourselves about the candidates when selecting judges.

There are many areas of law and equity over which judges preside. We should want, as judges, individuals with as much experience in as many areas of law as possible to judge us and our fellow citizens at times that are potentially the most critical in our lives.

I became a lawyer because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others by championing whatever legal cause they may have.

As a judge, one has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others on a very large scale. Every single day a judge has the awesome responsibility to deliver justice in a fair, equal and unbiased manner. There is no more fulfilling or rewarding calling than to be able to make life-altering decisions on behalf of your fellow citizens, people who stand before you asking you to pronounce judgment.

I stand out from my opponents with the amount of experience I have in the practice of law as a trial attorney. I have 20 years of practice under my belt and have engaged, not just dabbled, in more areas of law than any of my opponents.

My legal experience includes jury and bench trials in municipal, justice, state, and federal courts plus hundreds of hearings in those same courts all over the state of Montana. I’ve presented appeals to the Montana Supreme Court and federal Court of Appeals.

I practiced in multiple areas including civil plaintiffs, civil defense, criminal prosecution, criminal defense, family law, real estate, banking, secured transactions, human resources, employment, contracts, wills, municipal law, debtor/creditor and appeals mortgages/trust indentures. I have been in private practice, bank in-house counsel, deputy county attorney and deputy city attorney.

In my trial work I have been exposed to and learned from some of the best attorneys and judges the state of Montana has to offer. The education I received from them is more important than any scholastic education I received. I will take that experience with me to the bench.

My life experiences include, husband, father, coach and outdoorsman. I’m a veteran with 33 years in the Army National Guard. My military experience will also go with me to the bench. This includes making important decisions that affect many, working long hours to accomplish the mission; and, maintaining the 7 Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

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Thomas Pardy is a nonpartisan candidate for Yellowstone County District Court judge, Department 7.