Judge Sandra Martinez has announced she is seeking re-election to the position of Circuit Judge of the 24th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses St Francois, Washington, Ste. Genevieve and Madison counties.
She has held the office for more than 17 years.
"I was the first in my family to graduate from college," Martinez, a Democrat, said. "I started working at the age of 16 and worked as a cashier for eight years. It was with this job that I was able to pay for my undergraduate schooling and later, with the help of scholarships, for law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
"Over the past 17 years I have served the citizens of the 24th Circuit as circuit judge, as well as served the citizens of St Francois County as an assistant prosecutor and the elected prosecuting attorney. I also worked as an attorney for the public defender's office."
According to Martinez, her entire career has been dedicated to public service.
"My dad, my best friend who we lost to cancer several years ago, was in law enforcement," she said. "My mom worked at home raising five children. I have two adult children - Chris and Amber. Both attended local public schools and graduated from Farmington High School.
"I have and continue to spend time working with our children. About 12 years ago I started a program called ACES. It's a program where I visit our schools once a month and meet with children who are struggling with attendance. It's a very positive program and we've had great success in motivating many children to go to school.
"I love the program because it has afforded me the opportunity to help children outside of a courtroom setting. It's a team effort and I am fortunate to work with many hardworking, caring counselors, teachers and principals who care about the future of our children.
In her position as Circuit Judge, Martinez has served as presiding circuit judge and juvenile court judge.
"I preside over criminal, juvenile and civil cases, traveling to the different counties to hear cases," she said. "I have worked hard for the citizens of St Francois, Washington, Ste. Genevieve and Madison counties and will continue to do so.
"Coming from a family of modest means, I never would have imagined that I would hold the position that I do today. I am very grateful to all who have supported me and hope to get your continued support in the Aug. 7 primary election."