VALPARAISO — Local attorney Matt Soliday announced Tuesday his intention to run as a Democrat for the judicial seat being vacated next year by Republican Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.
The announcement sets up a general election battle with fellow attorney Katrina Spence-Smock, who is seeking the same seat as a Republican.
"As a trial lawyer with over 27 years of experience in both criminal and civil law, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve the citizens of Porter County as judge," Soliday said in his announcement.
"My jury trial experience in both civil and criminal cases has given me the insight and wisdom to serve all parties that come before the court," he said. "Also, having served as both a former deputy prosecuting attorney and public defender, I am familiar with both sides of the criminal justice system and understand the need for fairness and justice in our criminal courts."
Soliday is a lifelong resident of Porter County and a graduate of Valparaiso High School. "After graduating in 1989 from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in psychology, Soliday continued his education and earned his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1992," according to his announcement.
He has served as a Porter County deputy prosecutor and deputy Porter County public defender.
Soliday has served as attorney for the Porter County Animal Board and is currently a staff attorney with the non-profit Northern District of Indiana Federal Community Defenders Office, Inc.
Soliday has volunteered with the Valparaiso Family YMCA and is a mentor in the Boys to Men program through Our Greater Good. He was co-founder and director of the Valparaiso Triathlon and currently sits on the Porter County Tourism Board.
Four local attorneys have applied for consideration to be appointed by the governor to replace Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, who is retiring at the year's end.
The applicants are Christopher Buckley, Mary DeBoer, Dianna Mejia and Mitchell Peters, according to the office of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.