It's a typical morning at Buck's restaurant in Ishpeming. Patrons share a meal while discussing the topics of the day. With the election now a week away, you can bet there's some politics tossed in that omelette.
The setting makes for a perfect opportunity for Cheryl Hill, a candidate for probate judge, to connect with voters.
"We're a community that's full of interesting people," said Hill. "I get to talk to everybody to find out what they're interested in, but then I get to bring my message about how I care about our community and how I want to help."
With each campaign stop, the assistant prosecuting attorney makes her case, selling her 25 years of practicing law as ample evidence of her credentials.
"Well, prosecutor isn't just a nine to five position; we are on call 24 hours a day," Hill said. "I have experience in the probate court from the middle of the night phone calls for the alleged mentally ill who need help, to the middle of the day where we might have to appear at a court proceeding."
The probate court handles a variety of sensitive topics, ranging from estates of the deceased to cases involving child welfare.
"That's not a court of punishment, that's a court where we try to get programs and get help for those families so that we can keep families together if possible," Hill said.
Bill Wooden is quite familiar with probate court. He's related to the court's current judge, Michael Anderegg, who's retiring at the end of his term.
Wooden says after meeting Hill, he's convinced she has the necessary traits.
"Somebody that, in the case of probate, would be fair and lookout for those that needed looking out for, and she seemed like she had that personality that would do the job," said Wooden, a resident of Ishpeming.