Presiding judge decides to delay retirement

Governor will appoint immediate successor
Thursday, January 28, 2010 | 6:16 p.m. CST; updated 8:34 a.m. CST, Friday, January 29, 2010

COLUMBIA — Presiding Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton has decided to delay his official retirement by three months.

Hamilton, a Fulton native who presides over the 13th Judicial Circuit, announced his eventual resignation and retirement on Jan. 22. He cited Missouri election law, however, in a news release saying he had decided to delay his retirement until Sept. 30.

Hamilton’s original retirement date was June 30. Under that timeline, political party central committees would be able to place nominees to be his successor on the November 2010 general election ballot. However, voters wouldn't have a choice in the primary.

By delaying his retirement until Sept. 30, Hamilton gives the governor the authority to select an immediate successor to serve the rest of his term. That person, and anyone else interested in running for the position, could then run in the primary election of August 2012. Whoever wins the party nominations would appear on the November 2012 ballot.

Hamilton has been a circuit judge since 1982 and a presiding judge since September 2002. He has presided over more than 500 jury trials. Hamilton plans to work in arbitration and mediation following his retirement.

 His resignation date is still set for March 26.

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