Warren County General Sessions Judge Bill Locke has announced he will seek election to the office to which the Warren County Commission appointed him to upon the retirement of Larry Ross in January.
A McMinnville native, Locke has over 30 years experience in the courtroom, serving as the Warren County District Attorney for eight years and working for the Warren and Putnam counties’ district attorneys offices and in private practice.
“I’ve spent over 25 years in public service, making tough decisions as a prosecutor with the responsibility to enforce the law and to protect the public, and I will continue to do so as judge,” Locke said in announcing his candidacy.
The Warren County General Sessions Court hears an estimate 6,000 criminal, civil, juvenile, workers’’ compensation and domestic relations cases each year, with the majority being criminal and juvenile.
“These cases are the most important responsibility the court has,” Locke said. “More than anyone else running, I have extensive training and experience in these areas, which has prepared me for judge.”
On his first day as judge, Locke oversaw a full docket and since that time the judge says he has been running a well-organized, respective and efficient court.
“I was fortunate to inherit a staff with over 40 years experience in the court system,” Locke said. “I plan on keeping these qualified professionals. I will also continue to support Kids of the Community that the juvenile court established years ago.”
“I have a lot of experience in the courtroom and know how courts should be run. The job of General Sessions Judge is one of service to the people of Warren County. As a judge, I try to make mature, common sense decisions. I understand court cases are about people’s lives and need to be decided fairly and efficiently.”
Locke is asking voters to elect him to the office in August just as the commission several months ago.
“The county commission put their trust in me. They picked who they found to be the most qualified person for the job,” Locke said. “I respectfully ask the voters of Warren County to put their trust in me. I will continue to do my best to make common-sense, fair and impartial decisions.
Locke and his wife, Brenda Garmon Locke have two children, Amanda and Thomas. Locke is the son of Howard and the late Jo Locke. Howard and his family owned and operated Locke’s Variety Store, the local five and dime for 70 years.
He is a member of McMinnville Noon Rotary and President of the McMinnville Bar Association. Locke has coached a variety of youth sports and has been active in school booster clubs. He and his wife are members of First United Methodist Church.