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Probate judge won’t seek re-election

Johnston to leave office after six terms

Vicki W. Johnston

Vicki W. Johnston

Butts County Probate Judge Vicki Johnston has announced she will not be seeking re-election this year.

Johnston will be completing her sixth term as probate judge, and will have been in the probate court for 30 years when she retires Dec. 31.

She said in a statement released Friday that she has considered it an honor and a privilege to have served the community.

“A probate judge wears many hats and comes in contact with people experiencing both joys and sorrows in their lives,” she said in the statement. “It is indeed a position of great responsibility that I hope will be filled by a person who considers it, as I do, an honor and an opportunity to serve the citizens of Butts County.”

Before being elected probate judge as an unopposed candidate to replace Gene Blue in 1988, Johnston clerked for six years for two former probate judges.

In Butts County, probate court serves as the county’s traffic court, and is also responsible for functions related to wills, marriage licenses, death certificates and gun permits. Probate court is also an archive of county documents, with offices in the historic courthouse on the square.

Johnston’s announcement means a new probate judge will take over in 2013, after non-partisan elections and party primaries July 31.

The office of probate judge is non-partisan. Qualifying is May 23 through May 25 at 12 p.m.