Leon County judge candidate regrets posts that drew fire on Facebook

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Social media posts by Leon Circuit judge candidate Christine Thurman are drawing fire from local attorney Mutaqee Akbar and others. (Photo: Screen capture from Christine Thurman's page)
Social media posts by Leon Circuit judge candidate Christine Thurman are drawing fire from local attorney Mutaqee Akbar and others. (Photo: Screen capture from Christine Thurman's page)

, Tallahassee Democrat Published 11:59 a.m. ET June 21, 2018 | Updated 9:23 a.m. ET June 23, 2018

A candidate for Leon Circuit judge is drawing fire for a series of social media posts, some of which take aim at Muslims and minorities in derogatory ways.

The 10 social media posts by Christine Thurman dating back to 2014 were highlighted by local criminal defense attorney Mutaqee Akbar and bounced around social media in the last couple of days. 

Most of the meme-style posts are shared from other pages. On Wednesday, the posts were on Thurman’s page; by Thursday, they had been deleted and Thurman told the Democrat she regretted the “very insensitive” nature of the posts.

“They’ve brought nothing to this country except disease, disgrace, lies & deceit, racial division/hatred & huckstering, socialism, world embarrassment, poverty, lawlessness, expensive & poor medical (ObamaCare), tyranny and economic downfall,” the meme stated.

Thurman, 40, said the posts were made during a time when she was married to an Army pilot who had returned from the Middle East.

He suffered from PTSD. Their marriage spiraled because of domestic violence and they split.

“Those posts were made during a very dark and difficult time for me,” Thurman said. “They don’t reflect how I feel. In hindsight, it was a very insensitive way to communicate. The focus should be my commitment to my community, my message and who I am now.”

She is head of a Tallahassee adoption, family law and civil litigation firm. She is running against Lisa B. Fountain and David Frank in the non-partisan race. Thurman has raised more than $52,000 in campaign contributions. Fountain has raised $50,000 and Frank has raised $152,600.

Thurman applied for but was not selected to be appointed to a circuit judge seat vacated by Charles Francis.

She said despite the insensitive post, she is now committed to people from all walks of life.

“I think my Facebook represents the type of families I represent and I love what I do,” Thurman said. “I love children. I love families; this is important to me.”

Akbar, a Frank supporter and co-counsel with Frank in the wrongful death case of Dwayne Strong, said Thurman’s posts reflect the way she thinks as a candidate.

If elected, those views may likely affect her rulings on the bench, Akbar asserted.

“Some are old. Some are newer, but it reflects who she is,” Akbar said. “As a Muslim lawyer, I’ve represented Muslim clients and it’s already hard. To elect somebody who believes that all Muslims are terrorists or that they are bad people just in general. That’s troublesome.”