District Judge Gretchen Hollar Kirkman has filed for election, seeking to retain the District 17B seat she has held since being appointed to the post in January.
The Dobson native said that while she’s been in office for less than a year, she’s established a record of fairness while upholding the law.
“Case by case, I am strict but fair. I make decisions based on what is morally right and guided by the Constitution,” she said in announcing her candidacy. “As a district court judge for Surry and Stokes counties I have a record for being strict, strong, fighting the drug epidemic and protecting our communities’ children. I work tirelessly in my pursuit to protect our children and communities.
“I invite all citizens of our communities to visit the courts over which I preside. I would like the general public to see first hand my dedication to serve Surry and Stokes counties.”
Kirkman was appointed to the post by Gov. Roy Cooper to fill the vacancy created when Judge Charles M. Neaves Jr. retired from the post.
Prior to becoming a District Court Judge, Kirkman practiced in all of the courts serving Surry and Stokes counties. She has 16 years of experience in criminal court, juvenile court, civil court, child support enforcement court, domestic violence court, juvenile abuse, neglect and dependency court and termination of parental rights court.
Kirkman grew up in Dobson and graduated from Surry Central High School. She holds degrees from Surry Community College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Wake Forest University School of Law. She is the daughter of Dr. Thurman D. Hollar, who is a retired professor of 33 years from Surry Community College, and Ann Hollar Garner, who retired with 31 years in the Surry County Schools system.
Kirkman wasted no time in lining up those who would support and endorse her.
“Judge Gretchen Hollar Kirkman embodies the values and work ethic that makes us believe in and trust the judicial system in particular and the American way in general,” said Rev. Jon Cawley, interim pastor at Mount Airy Friends Meeting and a Mount Airy commissioner.
“Judge Gretchen Hollar Kirkman has shown integrity to her friends, family and clients for many years,” said Rev. Rusty Reed, pastor at Flat Rock Baptist Church. “She is now using this integrity and dedication to represent the people of Surry County and Stokes County. Judge Kirkman’s passion for the rule of law and the sincerity and fairness she brings to the bench means so much to my family and the people of our district. I wholeheartedly support her in this campaign,” he said.
“I have known Judge Gretchen Hollar Kirkman for several years now. She is knowledgeable as to the law and dedicated to her work, as well as being very professional,” said Oakley Joyce, a 90-year-old retired tobacco farmer from Madison. “She is a very caring person and seeks for the law to be applied equally to all. I believe these qualities are the qualities that a judge needs.”
Kirkman said she and her husband, Treva Kirkman, are registered Republicans and live in Mount Airy with their two children, Lily and Rose Kirkman.