Background

Donnie Hoover As a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University’s School of Law, Judge Donnie Hoover is a Charlotte native who practiced law for over 33 years before becoming a District Court Judge.

He began his career in Washington, D.C., in the Attorney General's Honors Program as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice. While at the Department of Justice, he rose to the level of Assistant Branch Director supervising in excess of 30 trial attorneys. Before being appointed to the Mecklenburg County District Court bench by the Governor in 2008, he worked in private practice in the Charlotte area for over 24 years and successfully handled virtually every kind of case that comes before both the District and Superior Courts. Through these experiences, Judge Hoover developed the technical skills and mastery of the substantive case law required to be an effective judge. Since joining the District Court bench, he has consistently demonstrated that he is committed to the efficient operation of our court system, and to the fair, impartial and respectful treatment of all who appear in his Court.

Signing PapersBased on his experience on the bench, one of Judge Hoover's main areas of focus is reducing the rate of recidivism in Mecklenburg County. While he believes that there are some offenders who are deserving of stiff penalties, there are others who would be better served with alternatives to traditional punishments. He remains committed to working with the community at large to encourage the development and funding of more programs that provide alternatives to jail sentencing for those select offenders whose root cause of criminal behavior is substance abuse problems, mental health issues, educational issues and/or employment issues. For those who are sentenced, he advocates working to equip them with the skills they will need in order to obtain employment upon release and prevent them from returning to the system. As a preventative measure, he feels that judges should also participate in programs that allow them to visit low-performing schools and low-income communities to volunteer their time and encourage students and citizens to succeed.

Judge Hoover has participated in a variety of activities to support his areas of focus. First, he worked to implement a pilot program to identify veterans with substance abuse and mental health issues, including Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, in order to provide them with community-based substance abuse and mental health treatment. The program also provided veterans with employment and housing assistance along with case management and peer support services. Established based on a $10 million federal grant to six states, the program was funded with approximately $1.5 million over a five year period, and was the first and only of its kind in the State of North Carolina.

In addition to his work with veterans, Judge Hoover also works with Goodwill Industries, The Center for Community Transitions, and the Exodus Foundation in an effort to help ex-offenders who appear before him to find employment. Without employment, these ex-offenders are unable to pay obligations such as court fees and child support, which causes them to regularly return to jail. By helping them to gain employment, Judge Hoover is able to reduce recidivism, help these ex-offenders to meet their financial obligations, and also enable them to become productive members of society.

In cooperation with the Governor's office, Judge Hoover also serves on the Governor's Gang Task Force which was established to enhance anti-gang law enforcement efforts and to develop gang prevention policies throughout the State of North Carolina. The Task Force has been charged with developing a comprehensive plan that will ensure a well-coordinated, statewide enforcement program, investigating and identifying emerging gang issues, and recommending the legislative and executive actions necessary to implement the coordinated plan.

Additionally, for the past 8 years, Judge Hoover has served as a volunteer judge for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System’s Truancy Court program. On a weekly basis, a team of school personnel and a judge meet with families in order to address and remedy a child’s chronic truancy issues and prepare that child for success. In order to support achievement amongst area children, Judge Hoover also serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Enrichment Program (GEP). This non-profit organization provides disadvantaged children with academic, cultural, social, and recreational enrichment after school. He also continues to accept numerous invitations to speak to local civic groups, churches, and youth groups including the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation, The Knights of Pythagoras, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Outside of the courtroom, Judge Hoover is very active in the Charlotte community and beyond. He is a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, the John S. Leary Bar Association, The North Carolina Association of District Court Judges, and a former member of The North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. Judge Hoover is a Life Member of the NAACP and a member and Past Master of Zechariah Alexander, Sr., Lodge No. 833, Prince Hall Affiliate, Free and Accepted Masons of the Jurisdiction of North Carolina. He is also a member of Rameses Temple No. 51, Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Noble Mystic Shrine of North and South America and Its Jurisdictions, Inc.

While his daughter was a student, Judge Hoover was on the PTA Board at East Mecklenburg Senior High School from 1992-1994, serving as President from 1993-1994. On Sundays, you will find Judge Hoover at Steele Creek A.M.E. Zion Church where he has been a lifelong member and where he serves as a musician and Trustee (Chairman, 2007-present).

Hoover FamilyJudge Hoover has been married for over 45 years to Josephine W. Hoover, who is a retired educator. She taught mathematics for 37 years and spent 28 years at Carmel Middle School. They have one daughter, Maya Hoover Capers, who also lives in Charlotte. In his free time, Judge Hoover enjoys listening to gospel music, playing the piano, golfing, and traveling.

Judge Hoover appreciates your support of his campaign and reminds you to vote in the 2016 General Election, either during the early voting period of October 27 - November 5, or on the general election day of November 8, 2016.