Boone getting early start to justice court job

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Post One Justice Court Judge-elect Ralph Boone will take officea bit sooner than expected.

Lincoln County supervisors Monday appointed Boone to his electedpost after Judge Judy Case Martin tendered her resignation by mail.The letter requested her resignation become effective Oct. 31.

Boone, who after winning the Democratic primary in August isunopposed in the general election, would have taken office Jan. 1.He will now sit on the bench beginning Nov. 1.

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Boone defeated Art Likens in the Democratic runoff election Aug.28. With no Republican or independent candidates registered for theNov. 6 general election, he secured the office with the runoffwin.

Martin said health issues that prevented her from campaigningfor a third term were also the cause for the early resignation.

“Three physicians have advised me that is medically necessarythat I retire immediately,” she wrote in the letter.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to haveserved my county and state as justice court judge for nearly eightyears,” Martin said. “I had hoped to complete my current term, buthave been forced to choose between remaining in office another twomonths and preserving my health.”

Boone said he appreciated the supervisors allowing him to takeoffice early, but he wished for better circumstances.

“I’m sorry she had to step down for medical reasons. She did agood job in office,” he said. “I wish her the best for the futureand I hope her health improves.”

However, entering the office early will allow him to address oneof his concerns about the election, Boone said.

The county has two justice court districts and both sittingjudges chose not to seek re-election.

Post Two Justice Court Judge B.J. Price chose not to seekre-election this year after more than two decades on the bench.

Boone said he had been concerned about the task confronting tworookie judges when they took office in January. His appointment inNovember will provide him with a good opportunity to learn moreabout the office prior to formal classes about the office providedby the state in December.

“I’ll be able to work with the senior judge and learn theprocess,” he said. “This will be a big help to me. I’m sorry forthe way it came about, but I’m really happy about this.”

In Post Two, Democratic nominee Ann Reeves will meet Republicannominee Freddie Canon in the Nov. 6 general election to determinewho will take the bench.