By Margaret McClam Hicks
Eagle Staff Writer
District Judge Sharon Holmes retained her seat for District 14, Office 3, by capturing 78.12 percent of the 8001 votes casted. State Representative Regina Goodwin stated, “The re-election of the capable Judge Holmes was a much needed victory. As one of only two black women judges in Tulsa her presence is needed on the bench. She lives in the district and has a heart for the community and that means a lot. That seat was created specifically so this community could be represented. She has courageously and fairly handled a heavy case load. Including the Kepler/Jeremy Lake case and the Scott/Carpenter case; the two men who were serving a life sentence, then found innocent, and set free.”
Historical Overview Of This Seat
This seat was vacated by Judge Jesse Harris in May of 2014 when he retired. Harris reminded The Oklahoma Eagle that it was the late Mr. Gregory Robinson, Sr., who made this seat possible. Robinson sued the state of Oklahoma in 1994 to create majority minority voting districts for the election of minority district court judges. Robinson, who had visited a Tulsa courtroom in 1994, observed a disproportionate number of people of color appearing in front of white judges. Robinson believed there should be a diversity of judges because of the great percentage of diverse citizens that appeared in court. The lawsuit was successful. The results included the creation of majority minority Judicial Voting Districts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
Harris stated, “The victory of Judge Holmes is a clear indication that the northern part of the city of Tulsa cannot be taken for granted. No one can simply buy an election in north Tulsa by putting up a great number of signs, running a lot of radio ads and claiming some connection to Booker T. Washington High School.
“The people of north Tulsa payed attention and voted in their own best interest. Diversity on the Tulsa County District Court bench is important. The victory of Judge Holmes is a significant step in the right direction.”