NEW ORLEANS — In a tight race between a pair of Orleans Parish Civil District judges for an open seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Paula Brown edged out her friend, Tiffany Chase.
Brown — who won with 51 percent of the vote and by about 700 votes out of more than 26,000 cast, The Advocate reported — said on Tuesday that she was pleased with the results.
"I am humbled and grateful beyond measure for winning this election,” the 52-year-old judge told The Louisiana Record. "I am sincerely thankful to the citizens of Orleans Parish for their vote of confidence on March 25th; and, I am excited to serve them in this new capacity."
The two candidates have been good friends since they began clerking together for the Louisiana Supreme Court and both have comparable credentials. Brown praised Chase, 46, for the tight, for the civil race they conducted.
"I am pleased with the type of campaign Judge Tiffany Chase and I ran — competitive, yet respectful,” Brown said.
During the campaign, both candidates highlighted their experience serving together on the civil-court bench. Brown has served there since 2010, while Chase has served on the court since being elected in 2007.
Brown credited her win on her long career as a trial attorney for both the prosecution and as a defense lawyer, along with her academic endeavors at the Southern University at New Orleans.
"My legal career spans nearly 25 years,” Brown said. "In addition to seven years of judicial experience on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court bench, I bring my experience as a trial lawyer; a judicial law clerk on both the Louisiana Supreme Court and Civil District Court; and as an adjunct professor at SUNO, where I taught criminal justice."
Brown takes the seat left vacant last year when Judge Dennis Bagnerisdecided to step down after having served on the court since 1999. Another seat on the 4th Circuit Court will likely be vacated soon when Judge Madeleine Landrieu steps down to become dean of Loyola University’s law school.
As for any future ambitions, Brown said she just wants to put her efforts into her new position.
"At present, I am focusing on this new challenge as judge, 4th Circuit Court of Appeal,” she said.