FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

Barrett announces candidacy for Nassau County Judge

Jenny Higginbotham Barrett
Candidate for Nassau County Judge
Press Release
June, 19, 2020

Candidate for County Judge Jenny HIgginbotham Barrett

I am proud to announce my candidacy for Nassau County Judge. The Honorable Wesley R. Poole is retiring at the end of his term and the County Judge bench is up for election on August 18, 2020.

WHO AM I?
I am 43 years old and was I born and raised in Callahan, FL. I am a sixth generation Nassau County resident.
I am married to Scott and we have two children. Max (7) is in first grade and Isabella (6) is in kindergarten at Callahan Elementary School.
I graduated from West Nassau High School in 1994, where I was a member of the National Honor Society and a Scholar Athlete in Basketball and Softball. I was also honored as an All County Athlete for Softball and won a State Championship for the Warriors. I was the 1994 West Nassau Homecoming Queen and the 1991 Miss North East Florida Fair Queen.

In 1998, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a Minor in Criminal Justice. While at UNF, I was active in the Pre-Law program and I was a founding member of UNF’s Mock Trial Team. Thereafter, I obtained my Juris Doctorate Degree in 2001, at the Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, I was a certified legal intern for the Leon County Attorney’s Office and I also broadened my legal education by studying abroad at Oxford University, United Kingdom, for a semester.

EXPERIENCE That Counts

After graduating from law school and passing the Florida Bar in September 2001, I began my attorney career as an Assistant Public Defender of the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee. During my second week as an Assistant Public Defender, I handled my first jury trial. After my first year handling misdemeanor crimes, I was promoted to Felony Court where I represented Defendants charged with felonies such as Armed Battery, Grand Theft, Burglary, and Drug Possession.

In 2004, I returned to Callahan and worked for a small general practice where I represented people in cases involving worker’s compensation, family law, employment law and criminal defense in state and federal court.

In 2004, Fidelity National Financial, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company and the nation’s largest title underwriter and settlement services provider, moved their legal department to Jacksonville, Florida and I was one of the first attorneys hired in their Jacksonville’s legal department. For the past 16 years, I have served as Senior Counsel for Fidelity and I have handled cases including insurance contracts, title claims, real estate disputes, torts, escrow disputes and mortgage fraud. In recent years, I have handled cases involving business email compromise and wire fraud–where funds from a real estate transaction are misappropriated and wired to a fraudulent account. In addition to serving as Counsel, I have also served as a Manager and Quality Assurance Counsel for Fidelity. During my tenure at Fidelity, I have handled cases across the country in over 40 states with different civil procedures and laws. I have also worked closely with federal and state law enforcement in an effort to provide them with all the evidence necessary to prosecute fraud and theft crimes.

COMMITTED to our Community:
I am committed to our community’s values. As a lifelong resident of Nassau County, I care deeply for the well-being of our community. In this respect, I am active in community outreach and activities as a member of Callahan First Baptist Church. I have also volunteered with food distribution, women’s counseling and services, domestic abuse help, and hurricane relief efforts. I have also served as a Coach for Upwards Basketball and Callahan Little League. I am a member of the American Business Women’s Association- Eight Flags Chapter and I will be serving on the Executive Board and Chair of the Membership Committee in 2020-2021. The ABWA provides opportunities for women to grow personally and professionally through leadership and education within our community.
I also serve on the Board of Directors for ElderSource, An Aging & Disability Resource Center in Northeast Florida. ElderSource provides aging and disability resources that empowers people to live and age with independence and dignity.

In addition, as a member of the Florida Bar, I have provided free legal services to those that cannot afford an attorney. I have assisted people with matters involving real estate disputes, debt collection, traffic infractions, zoning matters, criminal defense, and contracts.

WHY am I running?
Our home deserves leadership that makes a difference for our families. In middle school, I fell in love with civics and the law. As a high school student, I interviewed the Honorable Henry Lee Adams Jr., a Circuit Court Judge in the 4th Circuit who later became Senior United State District Judge for the Middle District of Florida. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be a Judge and I have kept focused on this goal for the past 20 years. Not only am I pursuing my dream, but as a mother of 2 young children growing up in Nassau County, it is more important to me than ever to ensure that our community is safe.
Strong leadership is necessary for the safety and well-being of our families—which is the reason I am running for Nassau County Judge.

As Nassau County Judge, I will use my position to uphold the rule of law, support the Constitution and ensure fairness and justice is served to protect our community. On August 18, 2020, I would be honored to have your vote and support for Nassau County Judge.

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