Circuit Judge Johnson not running for reelection

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018


NATCHEZ — After 24 years as Circuit Judge, Forrest “Al” Johnson will hang up his black robe.

With a May 11 qualifying date looming, Johnson announced Monday he would not seek reelection for a seventh term. The longtime Senior Sixth Circuit Court Judge said after much discernment, he came to the reality Monday that his sixth term would be his last.

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“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve six terms as Senior Circuit Judge of the (Sixth) Circuit Court consisting of Adams, Amite, Franklin and Wilkinson counties,” Johnson said in a statement. “I sincerely thank the voters for the opportunity to serve in this position.

“I also thank my wife and our family for all their support. I will never forget it.”

Johnson will serve out the remainder of this term before his replacement is decided by a Nov. 6 election.

“I will continue to work full-time throughout the remainder of this year and try to leave my successor with as clean a docket as I can,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s tenure began in 1994, when he won his spot on the bench by a surprisingly wide margin of victory over incumbent Richard Washington.

Despite the expectation of a highly contested race, Johnson garnered 63 percent of the total vote between the four counties, including 59 percent of the vote in Adams County.

Just as Johnson credits his family upon his departure, so did his younger self after the election.

“I had a lot of people working on my behalf that just believed in my candidacy,” Johnson said following his win in 1994. “I really appreciate all of my friends and my family so much for helping out.”