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Six candidates vie for judge's seat
Warren to retire April 1
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Judge Junius Warren will retire April 1, and six candidates are vying to be selected to fill the vacancy.
The six candidates are Kimberly Belongia, local attorney; Henry County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert (Bob) Bushnell; Assistant Patrick County Commonwealth's Attorney Marcus Brinks; Patrick County Attorney Alan Black; Assistant Henry County Commonwealth's Attorney Wayne Withers, and Timothy Halpin, an attorney with the Division of Child Support Enforcement, according to Janine Jacob, president of the Martinsville-Henry County Bar Association.
Judges are appointed by the General Assembly, Jacob said, and after learning about Warren's decision to retire, she contacted local state representatives.
Dels. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, and Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania County, asked Jacob to have the bar association recommend a replacement.
A special called meeting of the association was held Monday night, and all candidates were interviewed by the association, according to Jacob.
During each individual interview, candidates were asked to respond to questions submitted and selected by the association members, Jacob said. At the end of the question and answer period, each candidate also had the opportunity to make a closing statement.
Association members rated the candidates accordingly, and those results will be forwarded to legislators today, Jacob said.
The results were not available Monday night, she added.
She does not know if legislators will appoint a successor before Warren retires or when the General Assembly reconvenes in April.
Warren, who has served in the Juvenile and Domestic Courts in the 21st judicial district for 29 years, said he decided to retire during Christmas break.
He notified the Virginia Supreme Court on Jan. 22, according to Jacob. He plans to help look after his father, as needed, he said.