Tennessee’s very own Judge Joe Brown has shown interest in running for political office for quite some time, but recently he announced that he would be throwing his hat into the ring for a 2023 mayoral run in Memphis, TN.
Outside of being one of the states most prominent judges who presided over Memphis’s busiest court, the Judge has a longstanding record of advocating for Black citizens.
The judge was one of the first Black prosecutors in the city of Memphis and he traces his lineage back to the rebels who fought white supremacy in the antebellum killing fields.
Under his tenure as magistrate of Shelby County Criminal Court, Judge Brown managed to get the recidivism rate down to the lowest its ever been in Memphis. The Judge is known for sponsoring programs aimed at getting the youth back to work, along with offering alternative sentencing meant to work for the families who couldn’t afford better legal representation.
The judge was even honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for his lifelong commitment to inner city youth, and given the Olender Foundation’s Advocate for Justice Award.
The judge was born into a tough neighborhood in Washington, D.C., he moved to south-central Los Angeles when he was a young boy. There he decided to apply to law school at UCLA and was accepted.
In 1973, Brown moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to work with legal services there and was later employed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He became the city’s first African American prosecutor in the city and then moved to the Public Defender’s office as director. He would later open his own law practice before becoming a judge on the State Criminal Court of Shelby County, Tennessee.
Judge Brown may be running as an independent but reserves as observed of most candidates, he still reserves the right to file with either party. He can assume to have hefty competition as Memphis is a decisively blue enclave and the current Mayor Jim Strickland has won three consecutive terms which means he will be “termed out” by 2023. However Strickland has made it known that he supports local civil attorney Van Turner (D) who has floated the idea of running for months, and Turner is sure to rely heavily on Strickland’s incumbent status in order to preemptively ingratiate himself with voters.
–Barrington Williams, B1Daily