The Winnfield City Prosecutor today qualified for City Judge in Winnfield. J. Keith Gates, Winnfield City Prosecutor since 2014, was accompanied by his fiancé Amber Leder as he filed the paperwork necessary to run in this fall’s election for City Court Judge.
After qualifying, Gates stated: “I am grateful to qualify as a candidate for Winnfield City Court Judge. I am proud of my record as City Prosecutor and look forward to using that experience to serve the citizens of Winn Parish as City Judge. Having served as City Prosecutor for many years, I have a first-hand view of City Court operations and am familiar with the needs of the City Court and the citizens who appear before the City Judge. I promise to bring experience, integrity, impartiality, and service to the Court.”
Gates graduated from Northwestern State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and the Louisiana State University in 2007 with both a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Juris Doctor Degree. After law school, Gates had the honor of holding a clerkship at the Louisiana Supreme Court, one of four law school graduates chosen that year for the prestigious position. Gates also worked in Washington, D.C. where he and three other attorneys started a law center committed to government transparency and accountability. After his work in D.C., Gates moved home to open his own firm where he has served the citizens of Winn Parish and the surrounding communities. Gates is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, and all Louisiana State Courts. He has appeared and argued in most of the Louisiana Courts of Appeal as well as district courts across Louisiana.
Gates currently represents the attorneys of Winn Parish on the House of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the association of all attorneys in Louisiana.
Gates is also active in the community currently serving as President of the Winn Parish Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches which is a PRO-LIFE pregnancy center. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana FFA Foundation, having himself served as a state FFA officer and earning the American FFA Degree. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Louisiana Masonic Learning Center, a non-profit organization supporting dyslexia training throughout Louisiana.
Gates is active in the Masonic Lodge, including the O.K. Allen Lodge in Winnfield. He is a member of several Masonic organizations, including Shriners International where he supports their work at the world-renowned Shriners’ Hospitals, the Scottish Rite where he supports their Speech and Learning Clinics, the York Rite and the Eastern Star.
Gates is also a past President of the Dugdemona High-12 Club, past Captain and King of the Krewe of Kingfish Mardi Gras Krewe, and is a member of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. Gates is a member of Goldonna Baptist Church where he serves as Pianist and has served on various committees of the North Central Baptist Association.
All citizens in Winn Parish, except those in the Dodson/Sikes area, are within the jurisdiction of the City Court and can vote in the City Judge election on November 3, 2020.