Help decide future for judge’s office

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Adams County voters head to the polls today to select the next Adams County judge.

By the end of the night — unless the results are extremely tight or the election process has issues — citizens should know which candidate wins.

Either sitting Adams County Justice Court Judge Patricia Dunmore or Assistant District Attorney Walt Brown will earn the seat.

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The two were the top vote getters in the election earlier this month, forcing them to a runoff election today.

That race will be the only matter on today’s ballot.

County judges hear important cases, particularly since they oversee youth court cases.

Properly handling those cases involving wayward young people may mean a world of difference to a young person who made some stupid mistakes and wound up before the court.

While it’s easy to say, “Throw the book at them” or “If they did the crime, they must do the time,” a good judge can mete out the heavy hand of the law judiciously and take into account the age of the offender and his or her mental maturity.

While such cases may seem cut and dry to those of us who are not directly involved, the parents of the young persons standing before the judge deserve to have a tough, but fair soul on the bench.

Outgoing Judge John Hudson did just that for more than three decades on the bench. His longevity was, in some ways, one of his strengths, as experience greatly helped him work through complicated issues involving youth offenders.

While Hudson’s shoes are big ones to fill, we urge voters to consider which candidate may be the best person to serve in that role for another decade or two.