Senator Jesse Stone has in fact decided to seek a judgeship, after telling folks the opposite earlier this week. His statement, on Facebook this evening is below the fold.
To be clear, I contacted the Senator personally before making the post earlier this week, to ensure I had an accurate story. I prefer going to the horse’s mouth before posting. In this event, it obviously did me no good.
After prayerful consideration and consulting with my family and supporters, I decided today to apply for the position of State Court Judge in Burke County. This judgeship was vacant because of the untimely passing of my mentor and lifelong friend, Judge Jerry Daniel. Judge Daniel had devoted the last 14 years of his life to creating accountability court divisions that tackle problems of domestic violence, alcoholism and drug abuse, and mental health issues. These are issues that I know firsthand from the experiences of life and over 30 years of the practice of law. Much of my work in the Senate has been to support our Governor’s efforts to deal with these issues through Criminal Justice Reform.
Earlier this week, rumors had circulated that I had already applied for and had been offered this judgeship. Although I had been asked to run and had in fact been nominated and encouraged by others, the rumors were untrue and premature, and so I issued a press release confirming that I had qualified to run for re-election to the State Senate. I am still in the Senate race and do not intend to resign unless I am appointed interim State Court Judge. There is a process of selection that must be followed. Regardless of the outcome of either the judgeship application or the Senate race, I remain committed to public service and appreciate the opportunity to serve.
If I am appointed Judge, there will be ample opportunity for other qualified candidates to enter the Senate race. Until that time, I will continue to carry out my duties in what has turned out to be a very busy legislative session.