Ginger Bowden Madden to be first female First Judicial Circuit State Attorney

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Staff reports

Candidate qualifying has ended with Ginger Bowden Madden as the sole remaining contender to replace retiring longtime First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins. She will be the first female to serve in the role.

“I believe that she will do a very good job as State Attorney,” Eddins told South Santa Rosa News on Wednesday, pointing out  she has 25 years experience serving in several different positions in his office.

“She and I have agreed that we will work together to ensure a smooth transition,” Eddins said, noting it’s beneficial that she has was elected early without opposition, allowing for a longer transition period. “The fact that she has no opposition indicates that there is a lot of confidence in her ability throughout the First Circuit.”

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille had previously dropped out of the race, citing health issues.

“I’m so excited to begin this new phase of public service, by putting my name before the voters and earning their trust to lead this critically important office,” Madden stated upon announced her candidacy. “Our police, sheriffs’ offices, and other first responders do a magnificent job as our first line of defense. It is the State Attorney’s responsibility to see that work through to its proper conclusion, to put dangerous criminals behind bars and keep our neighborhoods safe.” 

Bowden Madden has handled thousands of cases and has tried over 200 trials to verdict. She has lived in Okaloosa County for 38 years, and her involvement in the legal community is extensive. She has served as President of the Okaloosa-Walton Bar Association, as a member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and as a member of the prestigious Federalist Society, which fosters a conservative legal philosophy for lawyers and judges. 

Bowden Madden outlined her vision to keep Florida’s Panhandle safe: “As Florida continues to grow, we have seen a greater threat of human trafficking and gang activity creep into Northwest Florida.  As a woman, and as a mother, I have a zero tolerance for any threat to the safety and well-being of our children and most vulnerable, and I will work with our law enforcement to forcefully deal with that kind of criminal behavior.   

Bowden Madden sits on the Board of Directors of Shelter House.  Both current and past civic involvement also includes Homeless Veteran’s Stand Down, Krewe of Bowlegs, Fort Walton Beach Junior League, the Stage Crafters Theatre, FSU Seminole Boosters, and a number of supporting organizations for Choctawhatchee High School. She is currently a member of Shalimar First United Methodist Church. 

In addition to her community involvement, Bowden Madden has supported the Air Force Special Operations School by speaking quarterly to foreign and U.S. military officers about the state prosecutor’s role in the U.S. justice system. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Troy State University, where she majored in Business Management. She earned her law degree from Florida State University. 

Family is central to Bowden Madden’s life. Her oldest son, John, Jr., is a former felony prosecutor and now is a partner in the law firm of Campbell & Madden in Okaloosa County.  Her other son Mike recently completed graduate school at Florida State University and works for the Wake Forest University Football Program.  She comes from a football-rich family, as daughter to legendary Coach Bobby Bowden, and sister to Coaches Tommy, Terry, and Jeff Bowden. 

“When I was growing up, teamwork and leadership came up in every conversation,” said Bowden Madden. “What I was taught then has followed me my whole life: no one can lead without first proving character and commitment. I’m pursuing this office because I’m committed to the citizens of our four Counties—to keep them safe and protect our most vulnerable.”