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I do not know the current Circuit Court Judge Branford, I have never appeared before him, or watched him in action, or heard anything about him for that matter. But in considering his re-election, I cannot get past the fact that if elected he will only serve half of his term – 2 of 4 years. At that time he will retire at term limits and then someone other than the voters will appoint a replacement to serve the remaining portion of the term. I prefer to have someone elected by and for the people.
I have spoken with Russ Baldwin only once at a Chamber event and was impressed with his thoughts for the position of Circuit Court Judge. Russ is an attorney in good standing with many years as a litigator, and he promises to work at clearing the backlog of civil cases that has been going on and growing for years. Judge Branford has been in office for many years now with the civil backlog getting worse as time goes by. At least Russ recognizes the problem and promises to work on it. The backlog may be budget related but it will not hurt the general public to at lease elect a judge willing to work at reducing the length of time to get their case in court and while serving a full four year term. My vote will be for Russ Baldwin.