General Assembly taps retired Senator Lewis to be next Eastern Shore Circuit Court Judge

March 7, 2024
 |
Senator Lynwood Lewis

The Virginia General Assembly has tapped retired Senator Lynwood Lewis to be the next Eastern Shore Circuit Court Judge. In unanimous votes Thursday morning, both bodies approved several joint resolutions for a slate of new judges to serve the Commonwealth, including Lewis’s name for the Shore’s seat as part of the Circuit Court resolutions.

Lewis was the lone candidate called to testify before the Senate’s Committee for Courts of Justice and the House Committee for Courts of Justice this past Friday in Richmond.

Lewis said he was happy he received support from both sides of the aisle.

“I have served the Shore for 20 years in the legislature and I look forward to continuing to serve in this new role,” the retired Senator said. “I was very pleased by the bipartisan support I received in the General Assembly and I am honored by this position.”

Not unlike other times in the Shore’s history when judge seats became vacant, this process was a competitive one between Senator Lewis and the current General District Judge Gordon Vincent.

Judge Vincent earned the endorsement of the Eastern Shore Bar Association and even traveled to Richmond to make his case to decision makers.

Judge Vincent said the following: “I had looked forward to serving the Eastern Shore as our circuit court judge, so, of course, this is a great disappointment.  Most members of the 9-member General Assembly delegation gave me ample time to explain my qualifications. Unfortunately, several key members only met with me for two to five minutes or so. The delegation did not conduct interviews, and they made the decision behind closed doors.  It is impossible to know how they decided who would serve in our most important judicial position.

“Going forward, I will cherish the Eastern Shore Bar Association’s strong endorsement, with the support of more than 90 percent of the lawyers.  The entire community seemed to support me, both friends and people I have never met.  I will always appreciate their encouragement and kindnesses.  My plans are to continue serving the people of the Eastern Shore as a general district court judge.”

Delegate Rob Bloxom devoted time to the subject on his weekly update this week.

“Unfortunately, this decision was too widely discussed in ways that were neither helpful nor accurate. The choice was ultimately made in private with the majority party taking the leading role in the discussion,” He said. “I wish Judge Lewis all the best in adjudicating the Commonwealth’s laws.”

The six year term for the Circuit Judge seat will begin April 1. Lewis’s investiture has not yet been scheduled.

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