Bruce Colyer (R)
Incumbent
In his address at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Colyer stressed his eight years of experience as an associate circuit judge.
“If you haven’t had experience as a lawyer in the courtroom, if you haven’t tried cases, you don’t need to be on the bench. It is a stressful situation. We have, on an average, 6,400 cases filed in Camden County will go through the circuit court. And it’s growing,” Colyer said.
Colyer started practicing as an attorney in 1976 and in 1983 moved to the bench. Colyer says his experience offers him an advantage because he is already familiar with many procedures.
“How are you going to deal with those experienced lawyers if you haven’t been there, if you don’t know how to prepare for trial, if you don’t know how to represent your client? If you’ve never done it, you don’t belong on the bench,” Colyer said.
Colyer noted the need for organization and the aspects of running a business that translate into operating a circuit judge’s office.
“You’ve got 22 clerks that you are going to deal with. You’ve got over 50 lawyers in this county that you are going to deal with. You are going to have to know how to manage people,” Colyer said. “We set our own budgets. We can’t provide access to the court without being able to manage that budget.”

Ryan Andrew Martin (R)
“I am a Christian, husband, father, conservative, Republican—and in that order,” Martin told the crowd to kick off his two minute address.
Martin practiced in Virginia and served as a law clerk in the Alabama Supreme Court before moving to Camdenton. Martin works at Noland Law Office in Camdenton.
“I’m not running on my experience. My platform is my integrity. I promise that I will be fair and courteous to every single person who enters the courtroom, and that’s why you should vote for me,” Martin said.
On his campaign website, Martin constructed a sports analogy to describe his view of a judge’s job description.
“A judge should be like an umpire.  He should simply call the balls or strikes.  A judge–like an umpire–should never make up the rules of the game.  He has a limited role and that is to uphold the law and to judge accordingly.  When a judge fails to understand this fundamental point he no longer adheres to the rule of law and power and might consume the law itself.  A judge should only call the balls and strikes and should never elevate himself above the law,” Martin said.