First he earnestly sought and consulted God for a sense of direction.
Then he solicited and absorbed the advice of his wife and allowed her to chime in.
They then prayed collectively.
Then came the big decision, arguably of one the grandest choices of his young life.
After minutes and hours and days and weeks of thinking it over time and again, Jamaal M. Walker had decided he would emerge as a political candidate for the first time in his prosperous law career.
A native of the twin cities of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, Walker, 35, has been a local attorney for the past nine years.
Now the time has finally come that this University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff alum has deemed it essential to run for District Court Judge.
If elected, Walker would serve Phillips and Lee Counties, or the cities of Helena, West Helena, and Marianna.
Having officially decided last Fall to run District Court Judge, Walker told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a weekend interview that his wife, Shenna Thomas Walker, has been arguably his biggest supporter months prior to making his political debut.
Even with no prior political experience, Jamaal Walker — who has adopted the catchphrase, “NOT JUST A MAN, BUT A JUST MAN” — is confident of the fact that boasting a home field advantage, or sorts, coupled with his keen familiarity with the counties about which he will oversee, essentially have increased his chances of emerging victorious in the coming weeks.
Then, of course, he knows full well that behind every good man is a good woman.
“My wife, Shenna, was one of my biggest motivators in my deciding to run,” Jamaal Walker explained. “I talked with her about it, we prayed on it, and God instructed me to run. I never had the desire to be a judge before, but when God chose me for this opportunity, it became planted deeply in my heart, and now I have realized my purpose and mission to change lives. I am very honored and grateful for this opportunity.”
When asked why he believes he’s legitimate candidate to assume the District County Judge seat, Jamaal Walker wasted little time alluding to his notable law career.
For starters, he has had an influential impact during a law career that dates back to 2007.
Early voting begins October 24, while the general election will take place November 8.
The new District Court Judge will be sworn into office in January 2017.
Add to the fact that he exemplifies what he describes as a “unique perspective” on the law industry, coupled with the notion the notion that he recognizes the necessities of the people — most notably their desire for a fair justice system — and it’s no wonder many should not be surprised that this native son of the twin cities labeled it a foregone conclusion to vie for his first political seat.
“I have a genuine concern and I care about the community that I have known since childhood,” said Jamaal Walker, in addressing his key policies. “Being a judge is about recognizing a problem and attempting to find the best solution. It is time to bring about positive change and new ideas.”
He’s especially singling out repeat offenders, particularly as it pertains to instilling in them what it takes to make the right decisions.
“I want to end the pattern of repeat offenders,” Attorney Walker said. “I want everyone who walks in my courtroom to feel like they matter and that they have a fair chance whether they are right or wrong. I know that each person and their circumstances are different, and I want to find ways to bring a positive impact in their live through my fair decision making.”
When asked what kind of District Court Judge will his area inherit if elected, Attorney Walker said, “As an elected official, I am to serve the people and who better to serve than a person who understands the community and the people in it. As Judge, I will be fair, honest, and trustworthy. I will help people the best way that I can. I will motivate and inspire the people within the community to view the justice system as a positive arena and ensure that just is done and injustice is erased. I am young and energetic and I want the community to move forward in a positive way.”
Just has she has done when he made the decision last year to run for a political seat.
“The old saying is true that behind every great man is a great woman. And Shenna is definitely my driving force,” said Attorney, the father of four children (Jada is 10, Nijah and Nadia are 8, Jadon is 5). “I would not be where I am today if it were not for her love and support. It is a lot of hard work and very time consuming to campaign for office and it takes a special woman to sacrifice her husband to the rigors of the campaign trail. Shenna has truly been holding things together and keeping me focused.”
Which, fortunately for him, has made home field advantage much more appealing as he lobbies for his first political seat.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.