A third candidate entered the race Monday for associate circuit judge in the 13th Judicial Circuit.
Deborah Daniels, a 55-year-old former assistant prosecutor, joins fellow Democrat C.J. Dykhouse, 33, a partner with Cline and Dykhouse LLC and Republican Richard Hicks, 38, a Boone County assistant prosecutor in a bid for the Division XI seat.
Daniels is an adjunct law professor at MU, her alma mater, and serves as president of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that has raised more than $1 million for Columbia public schools.
“I had hoped for some time that I would be able to work in a judicial capacity,” Daniels said. “I think I have good legal resources from which to draw to make my service beneficial. When this opportunity came up, I just felt like the time was right for me to try to seek the voter’s approval.”
Daniels resigned from the Missouri Attorney General’s office last week “in order to devote more time communicating with voters and to avoid any questions about the use of her time as an Assistant Attorney General,” she said in a news release.
“I encourage any candidate for judge to also resign if their salary is funded by tax dollars,” Daniels said in a news release. “Absent that, as we move closer to the election, I am sure questions will be raised in the minds of voters.”
Hicks worked at the attorney general’s office for nearly 4½ years.
“It’s my understanding that anybody who’s working for Jay Nixon who decides they’re going to run for any political office ... must resign,” he said. “You cannot stay employed by the attorney general’s office and run for judge.”
Hicks has spent the last three years in the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office as a prosecuting attorney. He said that he worked with Daniels in the prosecutor’s office for a little more than a year before she left to work for the attorney general.
Since graduating from law school at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., in 1995, Hicks said he has wanted to become a judge.
“It’s kind of been a part of my plan for many years,” he said. “It was more the timing than anything else.”
Dykhouse graduated cum laude from the MU School of Law in 1997. He is the city attorney for Fayette and works as a partner at Cline and Dykhouse LLC.
“Being a judge is something that I’ve always thought about, and I wanted to get experience under my belt before I ever thought about it seriously,” he said.
After 10 years in law, Dykhouse feels that now is the right time. He said that he “would bring both relevant civil and criminal experience of the types of cases routinely heard by Boone County associate circuit judges.”
Candidates can officially file for positions beginning Feb. 28. The primary is set for Aug. 8 and the general election will take place on Nov. 7.