Frederick Jones will be the next judge in the 4th Judicial District. As qualifying for the vacant seat on the court closed Friday, Jones was the only candidate for the October election, meaning he has been elected as the new judge by acclamation.
The judgeship became vacant after Judge Marcus Hunter was elected to the Court of Appeals.
Rep. Jones, who is midway through a term as a State Representative, indicated that the judgeship was a goal he would like to reach.
Once it became known that Jones would seek the seek, all but one black official in the area immediately publicly endorsed him. The unprecedented show of support made it difficult for anyone else to seriously consider entering the race.
The Jones Law group took no chances. It gave contenders a taste of the media blitz the campaign would bring when it plastered the city with giant billboards, on nearly every corner of the district. Jones announced his attention to run in giant “double truck” ads in local newspapers as endorsements from the Free Press, the District Attorney, and other influentials continued to flow.
Rep. Jones is the son and law partner to former Senator Charles D. Jones, whose legislative work helped create Black District judgeships across the state. His Uncle Judge Benjamin Jones served as a district court judge and a short stint on the Court of Appeals.
Several potential candidates flirted with the idea of challenging Jones, who remained humble but confident. He said he would simply present himself as a candidate and let the public decide.
All-day on Friday, potential candidates called to check if anyone had qualified. Reporters waited to take photos of any challenger. As the clock ticked toward the 4:30 deadline, it became obvious that Rep. Jones was destined to wear the black robe of a 4th District Judge by acclamation.
Even as Jones prepared to run for the judgeship, others began jockeying for support to replace him as the District 16 State Representative.
High on the list of possible District 16 candidates are: former candidate Alicia Calvin, who lost out to Jones for the District 16 seat in the last election. Others preparing the run include businessman and businessman Adrian Fisher, former interim police Chief Reggie Brown, businesswoman Jasmyne McConnell, city councilwoman Juanita Woods, City school board president Daryll Berry, and others.
The fact that Jones would win the judgeship was a foregone conclusion, so potential District 16 candidates began assembling campaign teams and raising money. All except Fisher, a wealthy businessman who plans to bankroll his whole campaign, Bloomberg Style, out of his own pocket.
As for Jones he had words of thanks and gratitude for the public. “I want to thank everyone for placing your trust in me. I pray for God’s guidance s I take this next step.”