ADA — Judge Martha Kilgore will seek re-election to the office of Associate District Judge for Pontotoc County. Kilgore has held the position since 1989. Prior to assuming the duties of Associate District Judge, she practiced law in Ada for several years.

Kilgore has been instrumental in the establishment of numerous programs in Pontotoc County. The Post Adjudicatory Review Board (PARB) was established by Kilgore soon after she started her service to Pontotoc County. PARB is a volunteer, citizen-based board that monitors the progress of juvenile deprived cases. This board gives the community oversight of the court process.

Kilgore implemented and monitors the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program which continues to be an important part of the judicial process for families in Pontotoc County. CASA volunteers are specifically trained to investigate each child’s situation and provide an independent assessment to the court. She has also been the driving force in organizing the Pontotoc County child abuse response team as a means to more effectively investigate physical and sexual abuse cases. This team coordinates the work of law enforcement, OKDHS child welfare, counselors, medical examiners and other professionals working with children in abuse situations. The recently established Care Cottage advocacy center provides a safe, child friendly setting for these professionals to staff cases, perform exams and interview children.

Kilgore started and presides over the Juvenile Drug Court program and recently began a new court docket for the Safe Haven program to help parents battling drug and/or alcohol addictions. She requires all divorcing parents to attend "Divorcing Well" classes to assist parents in helping their children through that difficult process. Kilgore has also endorsed and been part of the PACT team in Pontotoc County, which delivers mental health services to clients in the community where they are most likely to be successful in their recovery.

Just a few months ago, Kilgore conducted the first session of Domestic Violence Court in Pontotoc County, a program designed to provide intensive treatment for individuals who have a history of abuse in a personal relationship.

"I value the confidence the public has shown in me and I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Pontotoc County. As I have always, I will continue to conduct a courtroom based on integrity, respect and fairness," Kilgore said.

During the time she has been on the bench, Kilgore was chosen by Oklahoma CASA as 2005 Judge of the Year. Most recently, she was recognized for her contribution to the legal profession by the Oklahoma Bar Association with the 2005 Spotlight Award.

Kilgore’s professional affiliations include the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Pontotoc County Bar Association, and the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. She has also served as a member of the Emergency Appellate Panel for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Upon appointment by the Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Kilgore has served on the Time Standards Committee as well as the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction Committee for juvenile deprived cases.

Kilgore and her husband, Dr. Jim Burke, a professor at East Central University, have been married for 27 years. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Elizabeth, two grandchildren, and are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Mick Cowan is treasurer of the Re-Elect Judge Kilgore Committee 2006. Contact the committee at (580) 332-5814 or P.O. Box 1262, Ada, OK 74820, for more information.

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