Wildlife author and popular advocate for veteran’s and patriotic events, Susan Campbell Reneau has announced her candidacy for Missoula Justice of the Peace.

KGVO spoke to Campbell Reneau this week.

She explained how she came into contact with the criminal justice system as a victim of a drunk driving crash at the age of 26.

Get our free mobile app

“I was a person that was severely injured by a drunk driver who also was high on marijuana,” said Campbell Reneau. “That particular man hardly had anything done to him judicially, and I've always felt that that was absolutely unjust. As a result of that, I became one of the early founders of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.”

Campbell Reneau said there is one person, herself a former Justice of the Peace, that has inspired her over the years, and whom she deeply respects.

“I will say that the person that I have been most impressed with over the years that had been the justice of the peace for decades was Karen Orzech.,” she said. “If there was anyone that I would want to pattern myself after on almost everything it would be Karen.”

When asked about her judicial philosophy, Campbell Reneau explained.

“I will give a person the benefit of the doubt if they have done something,” she said. “Depending on the severity of the crime that they committed, if they are judged to be at fault and they are convicted, then they will have to accept the punishment that is appropriate for whatever it is that they did.”

Campbell Reneau said a defendant’s prior criminal history will definitely play a part on how she will adjudicate a case.

“I will look at each case very carefully and I will listen to every person who testifies, and certainly will listen to the lawyers and I will listen to the police officers and any experts that testify,” she said. “However, if this is a person that has come before the court repeatedly, I am definitely not going to show mercy.”

Campbell Reneau will be challenging the incumbent Justice of the Peace Landee Holloway.

28 Missoula Businesses That Opened, Changed Ownership, or Changed Location

Yes, there were quite a few Missoula businesses that have closed in the last two years. But what about the Missoula Businesses that opened?

Get to Know Missoula A to Z

All about Missoula, Montana.

LOOKING BACK: Photos of Missoula and How It's Changed

Check out these photos of how Missoula has changed over the past decade.