Former Monroe County Chief Assistant State Attorney Donald Barrett announced Monday he is running in 2014 for the circuit judge's seat currently held by Mark Jones.
"I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was a teenager and ever since I began planning to be a lawyer I became interested in being a judge," Barrett said. "I think the time is right. I'll be 43 by the time of the election, which is the same age as Judge Jones when he was elected. These are six-year terms and I just feel that now is the time. You have to strike when the iron is hot."
Barrett currently is a private defense lawyer, but he has nine years total experience as a prosecutor in the Keys as well as in Third Judicial Circuit in northern Florida.
Barrett cited his extensive criminal legal background as a reason for filing for Jones' seat as Jones presides over a large percentage of Keys criminal cases. Barrett has 15 years trial experience and has tried 50 jury cases.
Barrett, his wife, Rosario Barrett, and their three children, ages 1, 4 and 15, live in Key West.