Kokomo attorney Erik May announced his candidacy Monday for judge of Howard Superior Court 1.
For over a decade, May, a Democrat, has served as a part-time judge for the Howard Circuit Court Juvenile Division, where he presides over all juvenile delinquency and paternity cases in Howard County.
May, who will challenge incumbent Republican William Menges in the general election, also oversees a drug court program that was the first certified juvenile drug court in the United States, according to a press release.
“By utilizing objective, evidence-based practices and engaging various community stakeholders, juvenile delinquency has seen a historic decline in Howard County during Mr. May’s tenure, which has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of Howard County youth who are held in secure detention,” said the release, which was distributed by the Committee to Elect Erik J. May.
In addition to his work, May is a frequent lecturer on issues of efficiency in juvenile court, bullying and constitutional law.
“Equal justice under the law requires that the law be applied equally to everyone, regardless of politics, wealth, race or religion,” said May in the release. “When this doesn’t occur, citizens lose faith in the judiciary and our system of justice. During my tenure in juvenile court, I have worked to uphold this principle every day, regardless of who appears before me, and I will do the same if elected to Howard Superior Court 1.”
May also serves as the board attorney for the Kokomo Housing Authority and the town attorney for Windfall.
In addition, he has served in leadership roles and volunteered for numerous community organizations, including CASA of Howard County; the Mayor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention of Howard County; Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative; St. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick School; Western School Corporation; Kokomo Center School Corporation; Carver Community Center; Special Olympics of Howard County; Howard County Bar Association; and Kokomo Soccer Club.
“At the same time, I believe it is critical that we re-examine the way drug offenders are treated in Howard County. Drug addiction is not a moral failing; it is a mental health disorder, and it needs to be treated as such,” said May. “Locking up non-violent drug offenders is a terrible waste of tax dollars and an ever-increasing burden on our jail and criminal justice system. Incarceration should be reserved for violent offenders, and those who pose a genuine risk of harm to society.”
May is a lifelong resident of Howard County. He has been married for 12 years to his wife, Marci, the owner of Solstice Art Gallery, and together they have three sons, Mason, Hugo and Henry.
May is a graduate of Taylor High School, Indiana University Kokomo and the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He has practiced law in Kokomo for 12 years with his father, Dan May, where he manages a diverse law practice with a focus on employment law, criminal defense and civil rights.
“The criminal justice system suffers from a lot of waste, inefficiency and unfairness,” he said. “I have 10 years of judicial experience which has given me a unique perspective on the many problems facing our criminal justice system, and I am eager to have a conversation with our community about how we can improve that system for the benefit of everyone.”