MONTICELLO — Brad Woolley, a Monticello attorney and businessman with an established law office in the city for more than 27 years, announced his candidacy Friday for the 2020 Republican primary race for White County Superior Court judge.
He is running for the seat currently held by Judge Robert Mrzlack, who plans to retire at the end of the year.
Woolley, 56, was born and raised in Kokomo. A political science major at Indiana University, he is a lifelong Republican.
While at IU, he was hired as a top aide for Julien Ridlen’s 5th District Congressional race and then hired by the Indiana Republican Central Committee to be an aide for Rob Bowen’s race for Indiana Secretary of State. While in law school, Woolley worked for Stephen Goldsmith’s gubernatorial campaign.
Woolley graduated from IU and went on to earn his law degree in 1990 from Valparaiso University School of Law. He started his own practice in Indianapolis and then became a partner in the firm Nice, Moore & Woolley, until 1992 when he moved to Monticello. This year will be his 28th practicing law in White County.
Since 1992, Woolley has maintained a private law office in downtown Monticello, handling both civil and criminal cases, while pursuing a bankruptcy practice. He is a member of the Practice and Procedures Committee for the Northern District of Indiana Bankruptcy Court.
Woolley has dedicated the last 29 years of his legal practice pursuing a positive impact in the lives of his clients and those people with whom he comes into contact.
“You need to treat people with respect and understanding,” he said.
As Superior Court judge, Woolley said he vows to apply the law as fairly and humanely as possible, regardless of who is appearing before the court.
Besides working closely with White County Circuit Court Judge Jason Thompson, Woolley said he promises to seek out programs and solutions from judges in other smaller counties to learn what programs are working for them.
“Substance abuse, mental health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are affecting White County citizens at an alarming rate,” he said. “Having been personally affected by these issues growing up, I hope that White County can implement more programs to better serve our citizens.”
Woolley said he believes “we need to look at assisting our veterans” and would like to implement a Veteran’s Court to better assist White County veterans in “receiving the help they have earned.”
For more than 30 years, Woolley has been happily married to his wife, Dodi — the daughter of Larry and Connie Pampel and, he said, the reason the couple moved to White County.
“I was blessed to have a role model like Larry Pampel, who showed me how to be an excellent husband, father, friend, businessman, community leader and Christian,” Woolley said. “As I look at my life, I know that there is more work that I can do in all of those areas, and getting elected Superior Court judge would allow me the opportunity to serve and become a greater asset for the White County community.”
The Woolleys raised their children Rachel (27), Austin (24) and Noah (22) in White County, graduating from Twin Lakes and Frontier high schools, respectively.
In addition to impacting the lives of his clients, Woolley said he has taken it upon himself to make an even larger impact in the White County community by being a strong leader for many of the county’s youth.
He spent 14 years coaching Little League baseball and served as a mentor and lifeguard for the Monticello United Methodist Church Youth Group. He was also a leader on multiple mission trips that enabled more than 60 White County youth to experience the life-changing impact of giving back to those less fortunate.
Woolley’s goal is to use his platform to help the current judicial system to create lasting change and improvement for the community.
“I am excited about some of the steps that have been taken throughout the past couple of years and want to use my knowledge, experience and passion to help our county continue moving forward,” he said. “My honesty, integrity, administrative, organizational and communication skills, combined with the fact that I have lived and owned a business in White County for almost three decades, makes me a great candidate for White County Superior Court judge.”