District Judge Odell McGhee, Governor Branstad Speak at MLK Jr. Celebration

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Des Moines Botanical Center was held on Monday and attended by many.

Among those in attendance were Governor Branstad and Polk County District Judge Odell McGhee.

In in his condition of the state address last week, the governor admitted the state's judicial system unfairly targets minorities. He says correcting those injustices will be one of priorities this year and moving forward.

That message was echoed by McGhee.

“It has been several decades since Dr. King marched on Washington, yet very few of us can say fully that we have lived up to Dr. King’s vision of a land where people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin,” McGhee said. “Are things any different today than they were in Dr. King’s era? Why has it been so difficult for us to embrace and live out Dr. King's dream?"

McGee is one of just five African Americans to be appointed to the bench in Iowa.

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