News 12 First at Five / Friday, July 27, 2012
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- Three candidates are hoping to be the next magistrate judge for Columbia County.
This is a race that will ultimately be decided during the primaries. There are three Republican candidates on the ticket with no Democratic
opponents, so unless there is a runoff, the winner of Tuesday's primary
will be the next magistrate judge.
Jason Troiano is one of the candidates.
"I'm ready to do the job on day one. I'm not going to have to take office and learn on the job. I'm ready to serve the people right now," he said.
Troiano has been the associate magistrate judge in Columbia County under Judge Bobby Christine for the past three years.
"I am doing the job right now. I have been on the job since 2009. Judge Christine has been on active military duty for most of this year, so I have been running the office, serving in that role," he said.
But Troiano isn't the only one who claims experience is his strength.
Jason Hasty, another candidate, says, "We needed a new chief magistrate, and I have the most experience out of all the candidates. I have 21 years of experience."
Hasty has worked for the public defender's office in Columbia County for seven years. He resigned from that job to run full time for the magistrate court.
"It's been a good race, it's been a tough race, and we're just asking the voters to make a 'Hasty' decision in this race," he said.
But a third candidate also claims he's got the most experience.
"I'm the best man for the job because I'm the only candidate who practices in all of the areas of law that the chief magistrate judge needs to have a command on," said Christopher Hudson to News 12's Laura Warren.
Hudson says his experience is the most relevant to the job.
"The other candidates, on the other hand, their practice focus is felony criminal defense and that's what sets me apart," he said.
Troiano says he plans to continue the community service program and wants to reach out to youth offenders to keep them from coming back through the system.
Hudson says he plans to be tough on crime and wants to expand the community service program and place a greater emphasis on code enforcement.
Hasty says he is very active with the youth in the community and plans to follow the letter of the law.
The incumbent judge, Bobby Christine, won't be running for re-election.
He was called into active military duty around the beginning of the year.
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