I have been closely following the candidate race for Aiken County probate judge.
I don’t know either candidate personally. However, I don’t believe there has been any real reason for J.P. Thompson not to run against the incumbent, Sue Roe. Why? Judge Roe has been in office for at least 24 years without anyone challenging her, in her own words. So, why be astounded that someone is taking up the challenge? Ms. Thompson merely is exercising her right to run on fresh new ideas and by stating the obvious that the office is not truly owned by any candidate.
An elected official in any capacity should realize that someone may run against them at some point. Those who have written to the paper in support of Judge Roe haven’t convinced me that Ms. Thompson is a bad person or that she lacks the experience to hold this office. Ms. Thompson also has received endorsements of highly respected officials in government – U.S. Reps. Jeff Duncan and Joe Wilson, and many of her peers.
Also, Ms. Thompson has commented at some point that there are several qualifications to run for probate judge. I checked into that statement and found that to be true. They include being a U.S. citizen; of legal adult age; residing in this county; and holding a four-year degree or four years’ experience in probate court.
No one holding an elected position in our state should assume that they own that position. The people have the right to decide, and those who have tried to paint Ms. Thompson as a bad candidate have not convinced me that Judge Roe is better qualified based on South Carolina law.