Midterm Elections Go Smoothly for a Couple of Judges in Madison County

Last week’s midterm elections probably went a lot more smoothly than anticipated for some local candidates. According to AL.com, many of the candidates running for local seats ran unopposed.

Two of these were Madison County judges Alison Austin and Schuyler H. “Dick” Richardson.

According to Alabama, Austin moved from the district court to circuit court, and Richardson will continue holding his position as a district judge for a full second term.

While campaigning, Richardson bought ad space on digital billboards in Madison County. One of them was located near Cecil Ashburn Drive and Sutton Road, and the other was located near South Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue. Though he probably didn’t need the ad since he was running unopposed, he was able to share his message, “An honor to serve,” with a large number of Madison County Citizens. More than 80% of drivers notice billboards on major roadways and arterials.

Richardson was a lawyer before becoming appointed to the district court in 2006. He was elected to a full term in 2008, which is the seat he will continue to occupy for the next six years.

Austin announced last year that she would run for the circuit court seat that Judge Billy Bell vacated this year when he retired. She will officially take over his seat on January 21, 2015.

“It’s certainly been the greatest privilege of my life to serve the people of Madison County,” Richardson said. “As a lawyer you sometimes feel you make a difference. As a judge you feel that a lot more.”

Austin was originally appointed to the district court in 2010 and is also a former Assistant U.S. attorney.

“Since announcing my candidacy for the circuit bench, the level of support that I have received from my community has been overwhelming,” Austin said. “I will continue to work diligently to be worthy of such support. I look forward to continuing my service and dedication to the citizens of Madison County.”

The circuit court, which Austin will be working on, deals with felonies, divorces, and civil disputes more than $10,000, among other things.

The district court, which Richardson serves on, handles things like traffic cases, custody cases, juvenile delinquency cases, evictions, and more.