MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Next week Alabama voters will head to the polls to elect a new chief justice. Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Lyn Stuart to the post. Now she's asking voters to elect her to the job but her opponent promises a tough race.
"Oh I think elections are always difficult and I'm prepared for a tough race," said Chief Justice Lyn Stuart.
Since being appointed to the position of Alabama Chief Justice, Stuart said she's been busy creating transparency and getting the court system back on financial footing.
"I've been speaking with individual legislators on the campaign trail and they seem to agree they'd like to do more for the court system," Stuart said.
Stuart has been a judge for 29 years and has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2001. Her focus is on expanding specialty court and giving a second chance to those who want a better life.
"Basically they are treatment courts. So to put people on a schedule, make them accountable, make sure they go to the treatment, take the medication they need in order to have lives that are successful," said Stuart.
Her opponent is no stranger to the Alabama Supreme Court. Justice Tom Parker was elected to the court in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016. But he says he's been a target for some of his decisions on pro-life. The Southern Poverty Law Center has also lodged complaints against him for his stance on marriage.
"They filed a compliant against me with the Judicial Inquiry Commission trying to get me removed by the Alabama Supreme Court but I fought back and won and I'm still here," said Parker.
Parker said the president is close to appointing a conservative on the U.S. Supreme Court and he wants to be instrumental in the political climate at home.
"I want to provide leadership in the Alabama Supreme Court at this time to hopefully be a player in restoring the constitution through new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court," said Parker.
Although both Stuart and Parker have experience serving on the state's highest court, it will now be up to the voters to decide who will service as its chief.