Voters in south-central Idaho have the rare opportunity to vote on candidates for the Fifth Judicial District judgeship — and they have plenty of solid options.
Four candidates filed for the position: Twin Falls County Magistrate Judge Roger Harris, water adjudication hearing officer Theodore Booth, Twin Falls public defense attorney Samuel Beus and private practice attorney David Gadd.
With the timing of Judge Randy Stoker’s death from cancer in January, the Judicial Council said it was unlikely the state would appoint a replacement for Stoker by March 9, the final day candidates could file to run. So instead of the typical appointment process, the council opened up the nonpartisan judge’s race to voters.
The four candidates came to the surprise campaign with varied backgrounds and impressive resumes. Out of them, our pick for the next District 5 Judge is Roger Harris.
Each of the candidates has an expertise.
Beus has worked closely with the Fifth Judicial District’s specialty courts, like drug courts and DUI courts. He has a deep knowledge of the state’s criminal justice system, and we admire his dedication to public defense.
As a private practice attorney, the calm and collected Gadd is well-versed in complicated civil law. And as a water adjudication hearing officer, Booth is an expert on the issues that breathe life into the Magic Valley.
But the most well-rounded, experienced candidate is Roger Harris, and that’s why he’s our choice for District 5 Judge.
Prior to becoming a magistrate judge in 2005, Harris practiced civil and criminal law in Twin Falls, both as a prosecuting attorney and public defender for the city.
With 13 years of experience on the bench, Harris knows how to command a courtroom and deal with diverse personalities. He’s spent 28 years in the legal field, all in the Magic Valley.
Harris knows what it takes to be a judge.
He’s already dealt with the initial social hurdles of taking such a high position. He understands what being a judge means, not just in the courtroom, but also in the community.
He welcomes and takes seriously the responsibility that comes with that.
For his entire legal career, he has prepared to become a District Judge. In a strong field of candidates, we believe Harris is the best choice for the Fifth Judicial District.