Phelps County Associate Circuit Judge Bill Hickle will succeed retiring 25th Judicial Circuit Judge Tracy Storie in 2013.
Hickle won the race with Pulaski County Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long with a 25,923-18,902 vote in the four-county circuit with all precincts reporting.
As in the campaign, the two men after the election results were clear were complimentary of one another.
“I congratulate Bill,” Long said. “He ran a clean race, and I wish him the best.”
Hickle said, “I congratulate Colin for an excellent race. He’s a good man, and he’s going to be continuing to serve as a judge. I look forward to working with him.”
At campaign appearances and at public forums, the two judges stressed that they could not take any stances on any issues, because judicial rules prohibited the candidates for commenting on any situations that they might possibly be faced with in future cases.
“People don’t like their judges to be partisan, and that’s why we both ran the way we did,” Long said.
Said Hickle: “A judicial race is different. When you’re running for a legislative position, you’re wanting to enact a set of policies. When you’re running for a judicial position, you’re running for fair and impartial justice.”
Both candidates thanked their supporters.
“I’m grateful for everybody that helped out,” Long said. The width and breadth of his support was throughout the circuit as campaign disclosure reports showed, and Long stressed his gratitude for all of his backers.
Hickle thanked his wife, Debbie, and his family for their love and support.
“I’m grateful for the many generous folks that helped me with my campaign,” he said. “I’m grateful to the voters for allowing me to serve. I’m looking forward to going to work.”
The breakdown in voting for Long was as follows: 5,939 in Phelps, 7,240 in Pulaski, 1,725 in Maries and 3,998 in Texas counties.
The breakdown in voting for Hickle was as follows: 11,717 in Phelps, 5,279 in Pulaski, 2,627 in Maries and 6,300 in Texas counties.