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Alston to interview for appeals court seat

The House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees will interview a sixth candidate tomorrow for a Virginia Court of Appeals vacancy – Prince William County Circuit Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr.

A member of the Prince William delegation, Del. Jackson H. Miller, R-Manassas, asked the committee staff to invite Alston to the session that had been scheduled earlier. Alston did not participate in the vetting process conducted by statewide bar groups.

He is a graduate of Averett University and the North Carolina Central University law school. He became a J&DR judge in 1998 and was elevated to the circuit bench in 2001. He was just reappointed to a second eight-year term.

The other candidates who will be interviewed are Loudoun Circuit Judge Burke F. McCahill, Winchester Circuit Judge John E. Wetsel Jr., Arlington Circuit Judge Joanne F. Alper, Halifax Commonwealth’s Attorney Kimberley Slayton White and Leesburg sole practitioner Alexander N. Levay.

McCahill, Wetsel, Levay and White were endorsed by most state bar groups, with some of them ranking White a notch below the other three. Alper did not participate in the endorsement process this time, but she was endorsed by most bar groups in earlier quests for a seat on the court of appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia.The vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge Jean Harrison Clements, the only member of the court north of Stafford County. The Northern Virginia delegation is pressing to elect a candidate from the most populous area of the state.By Alan Cooper

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