Attorney Cassandra Denmark to Become Circuit Judge in January
Last updated 4/29/2020 at 10:22am
As a little girl growing up in Lake Wales Cassandra Denmark set her sights on first becoming an attorney and then a judge. That determination resulted in her current successful law practice in Bartow, and 18 years' experience that prepared her for her new role as a circuit judge in January.
Denmark was elected without opposition Friday, April 24 when she was the only person to qualify to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge John Radabaugh. Circuit judge vacancies normally draw multiple candidates, so Denmark was pleasantly surprised she could suspend her campaign early when no one else filed to run.
"I'm super-duper excited. I'm still pinching myself. It's like a dream come true," Denmark said.
Also re-elected without opposition Friday were State Attorney Brian Haas, Public Defender Rex Dimmig, seven circuit judges and three county court judges. Lakeland attorney Torea Spohr also won without opposition and will be replacing retiring Circuit Judge Neil Roddenbery. None of the judicial races is contested.
Prior to going into private practice Denmark served as director of legal affairs for the Polk County Sheriff's Office for five and a half years. Denmark earned a bachelor of arts in criminology from the University of South Florida and her juris doctor law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI.
She has been a member of the Virgil D. Hawkins Bar Association in Bartow since 2002 and served as president from 2002-2008. She has been affiliated with the Willson American Inn of Court from 2012 to the present and from 2002-2009. She was a member of the Florida Association of Police Attorneys from 2002-2010 and has been a member of the Lakeland Bar Association since 2002, serving as governor from 2005-2010 and president in 2011-2012.
Denmark also has served on the 10th Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission and Grievance Committee.
Her leadership and community service experience is extensive as she is a graduate of Leadership Lake Wales and has served on the boards of the Lake Wales Family YMCA, the Roosevelt Alumni Green and Gold Foundation, the Lake Wales Care Center Board of Directors, the Lake Wales Charter Foundation and as a trustee for the Lake Wales Charter Schools Board. She has been a member of the Bartow Rotary Club since 2002, serving on its board of directors for six years and as president in 2010-2011.
Incumbent 10th Judicial Circuit Court judges re-elected without opposition include Michelle Pincket, Sharon Franklin, Larry Helms, Gerald Hill II, Peter Estrada, Mark Carpanini and Jalal Harb.
Incumbent County court judges Hope Pattey, Lori Winstead and David Stamey Jr. were re-elected without opposition. All three had been appointed to fill vacancies when other judges retired or nominated for circuit court positions.