Payson resident Barry Standifird's experience as an attorney has given him the opportunity to view a wide range of courts.
As justice of the peace, he would like to incorporate the best practices he has seen in those courts to improve the area's legal system.
Standifird and his family have lived in Payson for 12 years and this is the only place he has practiced law. However, that practice has put him in numerous Arizona courts, federal courts and the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
His training provided him an opportunity to clerk for Presiding Judge John Cain of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver; work with the Department of Commerce and the Office of Export Enforcement.
"I am a fourth-generation Arizonan," Standifird said. He was born in Chandler. He and his wife, Lori, have three children, Breanne, Mason and Lacey. The family camps, fishes and hunts together whenever possible, he said.
Standifird has both a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology and did a master's thesis on repeat sex offenders.
"I became disillusioned with psychology," he said. "About only a third of the people treated are cured and I believe many of those cure themselves. That statistic did not excite me. As a lawyer I can serve many more people.
"A lawyer is also called a counselor, and I have counseled a lot of people," he said.
Standifird is no stranger to public service. He was a justice of the peace pro tem for Judge Ronnie McDaniel. He has devoted many hours to the Boy Scouts. He said it is one of the best youth-centered programs available, teaching its members about leadership and giving them a moral core.
"About 98 percent of the juveniles (I have seen in the practice of juvenile law) charged, were not in Boy Scouts. The number of convictions among men who were Eagle Scouts is negligible."
In addition to his work with Boy Scouts, Standifird has provided hundreds of hours of free legal services to area residents over the years.
Standifird offered the following as his reason for running for Payson Regional Justice of the Peace:
"I've been really blessed in my life. The legal profession has blessed me. This a community of good people. I've been preparing for it (justice of the peace) since college. I have the skills and knowledge to be the right justice of the peace. It's an office, not a job."
He said his election to the office will force him to cut his income by more than half, "But my wife and I have talked about it and we're willing to do it for the community and to serve. I'm a service-oriented person, and it looks like a place I can excel."
He said people should vote for him because he brings the big picture of law to the justice court. Through his experience in other courts, he said he has learned many things that could help in the Payson Justice Court in any area of conflict resolution, repeat offenders and victims' rights.
"I've refused all donations. I have no ties to any political committee or candidate. It is critical for a judge to be independent. I don't owe anybody any favors. My only obligation is to the citizens of the community."
To find out more about Standifird's candidacy, visit his Web site, www.barry4jp.com.