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Justice Tom Balmer is running for re-election in the May 2020 primary. He has been on the Supreme Court of Oregon since 2001. I served as a judge on the Circuit Court for Coos and Curry counties from 1980-2017, 36 years of which were as presiding judge. I have known Justice Balmer since he joined the Supreme Court in 2001. He was elected by his fellow Supreme Court Justices to be Chief Justice in 2012. This gave me the opportunity to work more closely with him as a presiding judge.

I have always been impressed by Justice Balmer’s legal opinions, his commitment to the law and his background as an attorney. He is well respected not only by his colleagues on the Supreme Court, but also by judges on the Court of Appeals and the Circuit Court, and the attorneys in Oregon. In addition to his superior legal ability, I found him easy to work with. He is thoughtful and gracious and worked hard to make the courts accessible to the public. He also made sure that judges, court employees, and those persons, businesses, and agencies that worked with the courts were heard and their voices were respected. He led the Judicial Branch through one of its biggest challenges when the courts switched from paper to an electronic system, now called eCourt. The transition was a major undertaking, but Justice Balmer’s leadership made the transition smooth, thus bringing the court up to date with handling the court’s business electronically. The change has made the work of the court more efficient and more beneficial for the public.

I cannot stress enough having Justice Balmer reelected to the Supreme Court. It is important to have Supreme Court justices who know and follow the law and do so for the benefit of the public. Justice Balmer is a man of integrity who has earned the public’s vote. Please reward his integrity, knowledge of the law, ability, and work with your vote.

Richard L. Barron

Senior Judge

Coos Bay

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