Originally created 04/28/00

Lawyer announces his run for judge's seat

Augusta attorney Ben Jackson announced Thursday he is challenging an incumbent judge in this fall's election.

Mr. Jackson, 44, qualified with the Richmond County Republican Party to be a candidate Thursday. He is opposing Democrat incumbent William D. Jennings III, chief judge of Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court.

"I feel like I have the experience and the temperament to be fair and just," Mr. Jackson said of his desire for the judgeship.

Mr. Jackson graduated from Augusta College and went on to earn a law degree from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in Alabama.

He has practiced law for 15 years, representing clients in civil and criminal court matters. Mr. Jackson also served for about three years as an assistant district attorney under Sam Sibley and Michael Eubanks.

"To be quite blunt, it's difficult to beat an incumbent," Mr. Jackson said Thursday at his news conference. But, he said, he intends to win.

While he considers Judge Jennings a friend, Mr. Jackson said he decided to run for the judgeship after receiving overwhelming encouragement from people in the community.

The two judges of Civil and Magistrate Court are responsible for presiding over cases involving city ordinances, small claims civil matters, and conducting preliminary hearings and bond hearings in certain criminal cases.

This is Mr. Jackson's second political campaign. In 1996, he ran as a Republican candidate for the office of Richmond County State Court solicitor. Sheryl Jolly won the election and is currently running unopposed for her second term.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226.


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