Through my challenges and achievements, I have learned that we need to support each other and not be divisive. Together we are strong which helps us to achieve more, including building a community that we are proud of. We are a strong, inclusive and positive team that works together.
I am a strong, independent woman who decided years ago to mentor and raise up other people. I rose from a secretary to a marketing representative at IBM where I sold computers and software at the Navistar Headquarters truck plant in Chicago. I moved to Chicago from Northern California all alone, left IBM after 15 years and finished college at Northeastern University in Chicago. Upon graduation, I relocated to Columbus, Ohio with just my cat to go to law school. I then relocated to my home state of Washington to be a prosecutor in Bellingham and Grays Harbor County, where I adopted my son, Josh, who was six days old. Finally, I moved to Longview so that I could be near my mom and Josh’s grandmother. Every step of the way, I was my sole support.
We need more mental health assistance such as mental health court, we need homeless assistance and we need help with substance abuse. We need these programs not because we have bleeding hearts, but because we need a healthy community and because in the big picture, it helps all of us.
We also need to feel safe in our community. We need to know that people who drive drunk and are assaultive will be held accountable. I have worked on both sides of the fence, as a prosecutor and defense attorney. I can maintain balance between fairness and justice. There can be no justice without compassion and consequences.
I have a vested interest in Cowlitz County. My family lives here. We have much work to do and a wonderful community to achieve. We do not need negativity or pettiness. I recognize that we are better than our worst day. I want to offer a hand up, not a handout.
The goal is a community that we are proud to call home. I was born here, I brought my son to be raised here and I intend to help in maintaining the community, not just for today but for tomorrow and for our future generations. I am from Cowlitz County and I am proud to represent my home.
Debra’s family has resided in Cowlitz County for four generations with Joshua being the Fifth Generation. Her grandmother, Marguerite, was a Cafeteria Cook at Catlin School. Her Grandfather, Ray, was a Grand Exalted Ruler of the local Elks. Her Uncle Larry Juell owned the Monticello Hotel with her Aunt Annabelle, and her parents met at RA Long. The Burchett originally were recruited from Tennessee to work at Long Bell when it first started. Almost all of her relatives have worked for Fibre, Reynolds or Weyerhaeuser. Both sides of her family have a proven commitment to Cowlitz County.
Debra moved here to raise her son Josh near her mother, Margaret, who passed in 2015. Josh attended the public school system, except for two years at the Family House Academy in Middle School. He was a member of the Mark Morris Band for 4 years, and in addition, he was on the 3812 Bits and Bots Robotics Team finishing as co-captain his Senior year and going with the Team to the St. Louis World Championships. Josh is currently working as a board member with the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group for the preservation of the environment and species as well as taking a full-load at WSU.
They also have a Golden Retriever, Summer, that is insane about tennis balls, and a rescue Chihuahua mix, Brian, that loves to come to the office and stare at people until they pick him up. This is in addition to the three cats that Debra has been able to limit Josh to .
Understanding the severity a case has on one’s life; everything from starting until the end is monitored closely.
Clients’ personal information and kith and kin are kept secure from the outside world.
Every case is handled with determination, ensuring completion of work necessary to drive a successful finish.
"My son was facing a driving charge and was assigned Mrs. Burchett as his attorney. I met Mrs. Burchett during several appointments and court hearings we attended during the process. I found her to be very interested in my son and his future. The work she did on his behalf seemed to exceed my expectation as I know she is busy with many clients. She was very matter of fact,took time out of a busy schedule and advised my son in a firm but much needed approach. My son Carver tragically died several weeks after his final court hearing. Debbie Burchett immediately reached out to our family during this difficult time. Having not ever met Mrs. Burchett prior to my son’s citation, I am very excited to have her seated as a judge in our county. I believe that we need people in these important positions that will be caring, look at individual circumstances and apply the law fairly for the individual and the community. Mrs. Burchett impressed me when I met her and continues to impress me with her strong ethics and professionalism. Debbie Burchett has the qualifying resume and is an inspiration to the legal system. Thank you, Debbie! You touched our sons life in such a positive way! Our community would be blessed to have you seated as a judge. We will always support you as a Judge in any jurisdiction!"
"I met Debbie about 7 years ago. I first became acquainted with Debbie because my father was her son’s karate instructor. AT the time, I was working in a restaurant and had a four-year degree in Public affairs and criminal justice and my dad asked Debbie to meet with me, so she could help encourage me to further my career. Subsequently, I met with Debbie and although I hardly had any legal experience or office experience, Debbie hired me as a file clerk. Eventually, I became her full-time paralegal. One day, Debbie told me about the Washington state Law Clerk program, which is an alternative to law school in Washington State that allows me to take the WA bar examination as long as I have a lawyer who is in good standing with at least 10 years’ experience to sponsor and tutor me. Debbie, of course, strongly encouraged me to do the program and happily volunteered to be my tutor. Debbie is by far one of the greatest and big-hearted person I had ever met and she is absolutely my role model. Debbie never judged me and she has always believed in me, when frankly at times, I didn’t believe in myself. I would vouch for Debbie’s character any day. Debbie is one of the kindest, empathetic, and honest I know. Not only has she dedicated her a lot of her OWN time to help me succeed in my goals, she has forever touched and changed my life and I will always be so grateful to her. "
"Debbie was able to help me in a critical way at a significant point in my youth, ultimately leading me down a path of success that truly would not have been available to me had it not been for her. As Judge, Debbie would have the opportunity to positively affect the community in a substantial way and allow for more people to achieve their potential, as she has done for me."