Panama City native Gerard Virga has announced his candidacy for the Fourteenth Circuit Judge’s race.
Virga is a graduate of Rutherford High School and attended Gulf Coast State College before transferring to the University of Florida where he majored in History. He then began a career teaching civic and American History at the Panama City marine Institute and says that's where he was first inspired to study law.
"I was teaching American History to a young seventh grade boy," said Virga. "This boy was very bright and enthusiastic ... I could not understand how this boy could have gotten himself in trouble and sentenced to the Marine Institute. Over the course of the semester, the boy opened up to me and told me that he was there for a drug charge. I told him that I could not believe that, that I knew it was not his nature. The boy teared up and said that I was the first person who ever told him that. He said that his father had forced him to deliver drugs knowing that he was too young to go to prison. I remember asking myself, what did his lawyer do for him, what did the judge do, how did our system fail this bright young man? I knew I had to do something to help our system."
After that, Virga applied for and was accepted to the Cumberland School of Law and Samford University.
Virga's legal career spans more than a decade, including experience law clerking for United States Senator Jeff Sessions and serving as an Assistant Attorney General before returning to Florida's Panhandle to open his own practice.
He is married to fellow attorney Rachel Seaton-Virga, and they have two children, Vivi and Gerard.