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Assembly returns 46 judges to the bench

general-assembly_mainVirginia legislators re-elected 46 incumbent trial court judges in the first round of judicial selection at this year’s General Assembly. One new circuit judge was among those elected Jan. 16. One sitting judge was left off the list without explanation.

Botetourt County Commonwealth’s Attorney Joel Branscom was elected to the circuit bench, succeeding retired Judge Malfourd “Bo” Trumbo. Branscom’s 8-year judicial term begins Feb. 1.

The eligible incumbent absent from the list of elected judges was Dickenson County Circuit Judge Henry Vanover. The former Clintwood attorney has presided on the bench since 2002 and interviewed with legislators on Dec. 8.

No reason for Vanover’s omission was given as the Assembly went through the election process. Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Lebanon, who represents that district and serves on the Senate Courts Committee, did not respond to requests for information.

Included on the list of re-elected judges was J. David Rigler of the Chesterfield County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He faced questions from legislators in two sessions as the Assembly got underway, explaining how he intended to overcome weak judicial survey results regarding his patience, courtesy and respect for court participants.

Another judge whose term is ending this year had earlier announced plans to retire. Clarence “Bud” Phillips sits in Wise County General District Court.

The Assembly also returned Judge Judith W. Jagdmann to the State Corporation Commission and Commissioner Wesley G. Marshall to the state Workers’ Compensation Commission for new terms.

The Assembly is scheduled to vote on new judges on March 1.

The full list of trial judges elected Jan. 16 is below.

Circuit Court Judges

  1. Stephen C. Mahan, 2nd Judicial Circuit
  2. Kenneth R. Melvin, 3rd Judicial Circuit
  3. Frederick G. Rockwell III, 12th Judicial Circuit
  4. Beverly W. Snukals, 13th Judicial Circuit
  5. Michael F. Devine, 19th Judicial Circuit
  6. Brett A. Kassabian, 19th Judicial Circuit
  7. William D. Broadhurst, 23rd Judicial Circuit
  8. Charles N. Dorsey, 23rd Judicial Circuit
  9. Joel R. Branscom, 25th Judicial Circuit (non-incumbent)
  10. Michael Lee Moore, 29th Judicial Circuit

General District Court Judges

  1. Michael R. Katchmark, 1st Judicial District
  2. Daniel R. Lahne, 2nd Judicial District
  3. Gordon S. Vincent, Judicial District 2-A
  4. Roxie O. Holder, 3rd Judicial District
  5. Clark Daugherty, 4th Judicial District
  6. Bruce A. Clark Jr., 6th Judicial District
  7. Thomas L. Vaughn, 12th Judicial District
  8. Neil Steverson, 14th Judicial District
  9. Lisa A. Mayne, 19th Judicial District
  10. Mark C. Simmons, 19th Judicial District
  11. Frank Buttery Jr. 20th Judicial District
  12. Deborah C. Welsh, 20th Judicial District
  13. George A. Jones Jr., 22nd Judicial District
  14. Sam D. Eggleston III, 24th Judicial District
  15. Dale Houff, 26th Judicial District
  16. D. Bolt, 27th Judicial District
  17. Blake McKinney, 28th Judicial District
  18. William E. Jarvis, 31st Judicial District

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judges

  1. Tanya Bullock, 2nd Judicial District
  2. Barry G. Logsdon, 7th Judicial District
  3. Wade A. Bowie, 9th Judicial District
  4. Cressondra B. Conyers, 9th Judicial District
  5. Valentine W. Southall, Jr., 11th Judicial District
  6. David Rigler, 12th Judicial District
  7. Ashley K. Tunner, 13th Judicial District
  8. Margaret W. Deglau, 14th Judicial District
  9. Rondelle D. Herman, 14th Judicial District
  10. Randall G. Johnson, Jr., 14th Judicial District
  11. Ronald L. Morris, 16th Judicial District
  12. Frank W. Somerville, 16th Judicial District
  13. Gayl Branum Carr, 19th Judicial District
  14. Glenn L. Clayton II, 19th Judicial District
  15. Sarah A. Rice, 22nd Judicial District
  16. Brian H. Turpin, 22nd Judicial District
  17. Cary Payne, 24th Judicial District
  18. Lee Chitwood, 27th Judicial District
  19. Monica D. Cox, 27th Judicial District