December 6, 2006
David Roper won big in the superior court judge's race, getting 64 percent of the vote. He had big numbers in Columbia County and won in Richmond as well.
If you were surprised by the turnout for the judge's race last night, you are not alone. David Roper says he expected to win, but not by such a big margin.
But now that he is the winner, he's busy trying to wrap up one career before starting another.
Fresh off a win in Tuesday's runoff, David Roper stopped by our studio...poised, he says, to make the quick transition from attorney to judge.
"I have some clients that are not real happy that I'm going on the bench, but I look forward to the challenge," he said.
His margin of victory, especially in Richmond County, came as a surprise to him.
This unusually high profile judge's race may be best remembered by the ads saturating the airwaves.
"Most voters saw through it, and then of course we decided not to swing at a ball in the dirt, so I think a lot of voters respected us for not retaliating," Roper said.
Now Roper's focus is on the bench. As Judge Fleming steps down in a couple of weeks, Roper will step in.
"Nobody's going to take Judge Fleming's place," Roper said. "He's been there for 38 years. He's the chief judge. I'll be the low man on the totem pole. "
But he has some high goals, and he understands the power of the post.
"The Supreme Court judge is perhaps the most powerful office in the state, because most of the decisions that a Superior Court judge makes are not appealed," Roper said.
We also found Mr. Roper has a pretty good sense of humor...but when he's laying down the law, don't expect him to joke around. He describes himself as tough, but fair.
"When we're dealing with a serious crime, or people who scare us, we have to be tough," he said. "On the other hand, we have to be fair."
Mr. Roper will most likely be sworn in on January 2.
He is taking the place of Judge Fleming, but he won't go in as chief judge. There's no word yet on who will take that position.