Originally elected to his post in 2002, Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas Judge David Henderson will not seek re-election next year and plans to retire from his judicial seat on Dec. 31, 2014.
Henderson said he made the decision not to seek re-election for a third term as judge during the past year and wanted to make the legal community aware of his plans.
"I will be 67 years old when I retire next year. I am in good health and will be eligible for retirement under the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. I will have several options for my future and I will have more time to visit with my granddaughter who is now 18 months old," Henderson said.
Photo by Dave Gossett
Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson will not seek re-election next year and will retire at the end of 2014 after he completes his second term as judge.
"If I would seek a third term and win, I would be 73 years old when I completed that term. Under Ohio law, I would be ineligible to seek re-election at that point. I have enjoyed being a judge. I feel I have done a good job during my time on the bench and I have earned respect as a judge. And now I feel it is time to move on," Henderson said.
Henderson has been involved in the law for the past 40 years, but he has taken a long route to his judicial career. "I was raised on a 100-acre farm in Carrollton, Ohio. My parents sold the farm and we moved to Florida when I was in the eighth grade. After attending four different high schools, I graduated with a degree in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech," Henderson recounted.
"I graduated from law school at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. in 1973 and initially practiced law on my own. I moved back to Jefferson County and joined the law firm of Chalfant, Chalfant and Morrow for several years and then shared office space with Jim Abrams and Costa Mastros before I became an assistant law director for Steubenville for 15 years," Henderson said.
Henderson first sought public office when he ran against Daniel Spahn for the Municipal Court judge's seat. Spahn won that election, and Henderson turned his attention to the common pleas court seat being vacated by the retirement of former Judge John J. Mascio.
"I can't say I knocked on every door in Jefferson County, but I came close. We visited the cities, every village and township in the county and I talked to a number of people in that election," Henderson recalled.
"If you take this job seriously, the cases will take a toll on you over time. In addition to the criminal cases, a judge will hear divorce cases where the custody of children and payment from one party to another must be decided. You also have personal injury, malpractice and workers' compensation cases," he said.