Ada — After seven years of handling disability claims, attorney Heather Hammond Wright is seeking a new challenge.
Wright, 41, is one of three candidates for associate district judge in this month’s primary election. She is running against her fellow attorneys Preston Draper and Lori (Loman) Jackson.
The three attorneys are hoping to replace former Associate District Judge Martha Kilgore, who retired June 1. The winner of the June 24 primary will decide who will take Kilgore’s place on the bench, unless none of the candidates captures a majority of the vote. If that happens, the two candidates with the most votes will appear on the November ballot.
A native of Ada, Wright has worked as an intern for Oklahoma Indian Legal Services and U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron of the Western District of Oklahoma. Wright is also a former adjunct professor of civil procedure and litigation at East Central University.
Wright currently lives in Ada but works in Ardmore for the law firm Colbert Cooper Hill, where she handles disability claims.
The Ada News interviewed Wright last week about her background, her decision to seek public office and her skills. Here are questions and answers from that interview, edited for clarity and length.
The Ada News: Describe your professional background, please.
Heather Hammond Wright: I graduated from Ada High School and East Central University (and) went on to Oklahoma City University School of Law, where I graduated magna cum laude in 2000. After law school, I worked for a firm in Oklahoma City, doing insurance defense and personal injury-type work.
I also worked for the Muscogee Creek Nation, which I’m a member of the tribe. I worked for them as their self-governance coordinator under Chief Perry Beaver.
Since then, I’ve been doing disability work — federal administrative disability claims — throughout Oklahoma and North Texas. Hundreds of hearings a year.
I also failed to mention while I was in college, I worked for Greg Taylor, a local attorney here in town. I clerked for Judge Landrith while I was in college and while in law school, I interned with Oklahoma Indian Legal Services and for federal district judge Robin Cauthron of the Western District.