Q&A: Meet Carmel City Court judge candidates

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Incumbent Carmel City Court Judge Brian Poindexter is facing a challenge from attorney Angela Swenson in the May 7 Republican primary. They answered the following questions from Current:

Swenson

Name: Angela B. Swenson

Age: 44

Family: Husband, Court; daughter, Audrey; dog, Volley; cat, Bass

Years in Carmel: More than 10

Education: Boone County High School, Northern Kentucky University, Florida Coastal School of Law

Previous political experience: None

Job: Attorney at Swenson & Associate PC

Website: www.facebook.com/angelaswensonforjudge/

Why do you want to run for office?

I am running for Carmel City Judge because there needs to be a change in our city court. Our city court needs to be run by an individual with a broad legal background, who demonstrates compassion and respect for all litigants while upholding the law.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My goal as Carmel City Judge is to protect our community members and resources while ensuring our city court is run objectively, consistently and efficiently.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have been an attorney for over 16 years, allowing me to represent clients in family law, criminal law, probate, traffic, guardianship and other civil matters. Also, I’m proud to have served our country as a military police officer in the Army reserves for eight years.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

I have the patience and compassion to help individuals who are dealing with difficult and often life-changing issues while ensuring our community remains safe and our city court is run efficiently. Since becoming a member of the Carmel community, I’ve consistently been involved in community service organizations, including past president of the Carmel Lion’s Club, Leader of the Mohawk Trails Girl Scout Troop 587 and I have received awards for pro bono service.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

We are a great community. I especially enjoy the broad range of activities and events that are available in Carmel. There’s something here for everyone. No matter your background you can find pastimes and people to enjoy them with. I grew up in a very small town, with a population of less than 1,000, and Carmel feels like home, only better.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

From our walking trails, bike paths, community resources and amazing schools we stand out in the state and nation. Our city court should reflect our incredible, diverse community. Also, I believe I can make the Carmel City Court more efficient and ensure that public resources concerning the court are used properly.

What other organizations are you involved with?

  • Carmel Lions Club 2008 to present – VP and President from 2015 to 2018
  • Girl Scout Leader – 2013 to present
  • Girl Scout Carmel East Management Team
  • Kid’s Voice Guardian ad Litem Volunteer – 2010 to present
  • Hamilton County Guardian ad Litem Volunteer – 2010 to present
  • Hamilton County Bar Association – 2009 to present
  • Indianapolis Bar Association – 2009 to present
  • Indiana State Bar Association – 2009 to present
  • Florida State Bar Association – 2002 to present
  • Carmel-Clay Republican Club
  • Hamilton County Republican Women’s Club
  • Women’s Soccer League at Off the Wall Sports

Something most people don’t know about you?

I served eight years in the Army Reserves as a military police officer, and I still play soccer with a wonderful group of women.

Something you want people to know about you?

When I agree to volunteer with an organization it is with the mindset that I can serve the organization and help their mission succeed. I hope to do the same with the Carmel City Court.

Poindexter

Name: Brian G Poindexter

Age: 57

Family: Married to Anne Hensley Poindexter, a founding partner with the law firm of Altman Poindexter & Wyatt LLC. Our daughter is a graduate student at the University of Indianapolis.

Years in Carmel: More than 30

Education: New Palestine High School, Ball State University, McKinney School of Law

Previous political experience: Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed me as the Republican Judge of Carmel City Court in 2008.

Website: Facebook.com/PoindexterForJudge

Why do you want to run for office?

I am committed to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their personal circumstances or station in life, have equal access to justice.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My sole focus has always been to provide the citizens of Carmel and Hamilton County with a well-administered and efficiently-run court where each individual is treated fairly, impartially and all proceedings are conducted in a respectful and dignified manner. I will continue to put service above myself and use my experience to make a positive difference.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have spent my entire professional career in a courtroom serving the public and honing my skills. The first 20 years were first as a deputy prosecuting attorney, initially assigned to a traffic court, and then primarily as a homicide prosecutor in Marion County. The last 10 years I have served as the Judge of Carmel City Court.

What sets you apart from the other candidate(s) for this office?

My knowledge of the law, extensive professional experience in the criminal justice system, judicial administration and sound judgement are crucial attributes I bring as a strong, capable and impartial judge.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

Carmel is a diverse and welcoming community filled with people that focus their time and energy on their children, education and serving the community. The people of our communities are our community’s greatest treasure and measure of success.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

The court plans to expand community outreach programs for elementary, middle school and high school students. It is important to promote good citizenship and the role of a responsible citizen at these age groups. Additional positive impacts at each of these levels can make profound differences.

With what other organizations are you involved?

I have been an active member of our community for more than 25 years and have invested both time and energy by volunteering with youth programs, civic groups, sports governing bodies and charitable organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Carmel Dads’ Club, Rotary Club of Carmel and as a board member of Janus Developmental Services, Inc. and the United Way of Central Indiana Hamilton County Advisory Board.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I spent a great deal of my summers as a youth visiting and working on our family farms. I routinely prepare and can homemade jams and jellies. I learned how to do this by watching my grandmothers in their country kitchens. I also make pretty good biscuits and chocolate gravy, which is a southern delicacy.

What is something you want people to know about you?

I care immensely about placing service above self, providing equal access to justice, adhering to the rule of law and upholding the Constitution of the United States of America.

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