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3 lawyers announce plans to run for Columbia County magistrate

Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 5:21 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 1:47 AM
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Three local attorneys have now announced plans to run for chief magistrate of Columbia County. Chief Magistrate Bobby Christine announced last month that he won’t seek re-election because of a possible activation and overseas deployment this year with the U.S. Army National Guard.

Christopher Hudson announced Thursday that he intends to seek the seat in next year’s election.

“As a lifelong Columbia County resident, I understand the importance of this position to the citizens of Columbia County,” Hudson wrote in a press release. “I feel I am particularly qualified for this position, having managed a diverse legal practice in the areas of insurance, real estate, construction, probate, criminal, and contract law.”

Hudson is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law.

Associate Magistrate Jason Troiano announced Wednesday that he also intends to run for the post.

“I look forward to serving the people of Columbia County and continuing a tradition, running a strong Magistrate Court,” Troiano said.

Troiano, who was appointed as associate magistrate by Christine in May 2009, also served as an assistant district attorney in the Augusta Judicial Circuit for eight years. The Columbia County resident has run a private legal practice since July 2006.

Jason Hasty, of Evans, announced his intention to run for the seat on Monday. He resigned as an assistant public defender in December and filed his intent to run for the seat with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

“I feel my experience as an attorney, as assistant public defender, and my faith in God will help me make fair and impartial decisions from the bench, and represent our community and the courts with the highest morals and integrity our citizens expect,” Hasty said in an e-mail.

Since graduation from Duke University and University of Georgia School of Law, Hasty has served in the Office of Indigent Defense in the Augusta, Cobb and Blue Ridge judicial circuits.

Qualifying for the election will be May 23-25, Columbia County Board of Elections Director Deborah Marshall said.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/06/12 - 06:50 pm
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After learning of Bobby

After learning of Bobby Christine and the violation of the judical canons with his open support of Ben Harbin and Scott Dean, along with state forms strangely being changed it's time for a change.

There is too much control by one group. We have former Chief Magistrate and now Superior Court Judge Wade Padgett, his wife is now probate court judge and Christine was the person Wade Padgett worked into his old job as chief magistrate.

It's time for sweeping changes in Columbia County and this is one critical place to start. Anyone but Jason Troiano, whom Christine appointed as his assistant.

cj52111
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cj52111 01/06/12 - 08:17 pm
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As mentioned in a previous

As mentioned in a previous article, Hasty is a fine man and would make an excellent Chief Magistrate for Columbia County. A man with a conscience, Imagine That!!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/07/12 - 05:41 am
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Bobby Christine has done and

Bobby Christine has done and excellent job and so has Jason Troiano. Furthermore, the Padgett's are excellent people and both are very hard working individuals who care about the community as does Jason.

Jason is by far the best choice as the new Columbia County Magistrate Court Judge. He has done an excellent job, is well qualified, honest, ethical and fully prepared to take on this position.

Jason Troiano is already working hard for all Columbia County citizens in this office and with you support, he will contine to make Columbia Cout one of the best places to live in Georgia.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/12 - 03:08 pm
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Asitisinaug, how do you feel

Asitisinaug, how do you feel about Christine openly supporting candidates for political office such as Magnolia Trace Ben Harbin and Scott Dean? Judges are supposed to be above politics and even the appearance of political campaigning for others isn't allowed.

The Columbia County judicial system with Padgett picking Christine, his wife now probate judge and Troiano also picked and groomed by them is simply too much. There's entirely too much nepotism. It's time for fresh faces in Columbia County in all areas.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/07/12 - 03:43 pm
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Riverman1, I see your point.

Riverman1, I see your point. But, in reality they ALL know each other and work for or help each other or "the other side" out.

In my opinion, if the leaders / judges / people are good people then I don't care how they are related but if they are lazy, don't do their jobs well, untrustworthy, etc. then they would need to be gone. Christine, the Padgett's and Troiano are all very good people doing a great service for the community in which they live.

It appears from previous posts that you seem to realy disagree with both Padgett's being judges even though one is probate and one is a Superior Court Judge. I personally cannot see why we would deny someone an opportunity to do a job based on whom they are married to, especially when both are more than qualified, are doing a good job, etc.

Our judicial system and for the most part our political system is now full of persons with law degrees and that common bond keeps them all in the same circles. Plenty of judges state who they are supporting and many others support political candidates financially which can easily be viewed by anyone who donated over $100.000. When they are not on the bench, this is simply part of their first amendment rights as well as being a civic leader. Locally, in both counties, it is very common practice for judges and others to verbally support and financially support candidates for the office of Sheriff, County Commission, etc....

Frankly, neither of the other 2 candidates thus far even come close in ability or preparedness to be the CC Chief Magistrate.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/12 - 07:34 pm
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Asitisinaug, the Padgetts are

Asitisinaug, the Padgetts are fine people I’m sure, but this is about nepotism. Wade P became Superior Court Judge and his assistant, Christine took over as Chief Magistrate. Then his wife becomes Probate Court Judge after Pat Hardaway died. Now we are to take it a step further and have Christine’s assistant take over?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/12 - 07:35 pm
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Realize Canon 7 clearly

Realize Canon 7 clearly states judges are to be apolitical. When David Roper’s name showed up on something supporting a candidate, he immediately told them to take his name off.

The Judicial Qualifications Committee did in fact counsel Christine of Canon 7 after Lee Benedict submitted a complaint about Christine serving as Ben Harbin’s Chairperson for his campaign.

Ben Harbin, Bobby Christine, Scott Dean, Ron Cross and Mike Sleeper are all tied up supporting each other. Harbin, Christine, Dean and Sleeper are all close friends.

We talk about the Richmond County cabal, but it’s time to ensure Columbia County doesn’t end up with the same results. Prevent nepotism and cronyism by cleaning house now and then.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/08/12 - 05:21 am
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I do see your points and if

I do see your points and if they do something wrong such as be a political chairperson in violaiton of rules/laws, they need to be dealt with accordingly. However, they all often say who they are supporting and their names show up anytime they donate more than $100.00 to any candidate, all of which is legal.

Either way, I would not think that the best candidate, Jason Hasty, should be denied the oppotunity to serve simply because the current magistrate hired him as 2nd in command. Additionally, to the best of my knowledge, he has never violated any political rules, etc. and therefore should not be penalized for the actions of others.

I do respect your opinions on this matter and see where you are coming from but at this time do also feel that Jason Hasty is by far the best candidate for the position.

ccgaadvocate
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ccgaadvocate 01/09/12 - 05:37 pm
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Asitisinaug - In reference to

Asitisinaug - In reference to your last post, for clarification, the current Columbia County Associate Magistrate Judge is Jason Troiano.

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