The decision by one of Camden County's associate circuit court judges to not seek re-election has prompted a lake-area attorney to declare his candidacy for the seat.
Matt Hamner has announced his intentions to run for the seat currently held by Judge Bruce Colyer who will be stepping down at the end of his term.
Hamner has been with the Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter and Welch, P.C., law firm since returning to the lake area in 2007. Born and raised in Osage Beach, Hamner is a 1994 graduate of Camdenton High School.
Hamner said he has been interested in serving on the bench since working as a clerk for one of the Missouri Supreme Court justices after he graduated from law school.
"That was a great experience for me and planted the seed about how that side of the law works. Frankly, I always knew I wanted to come back home but after my experience with the Missouri Supreme Court, I thought that someday I wanted to be a judge. We have a good set of judges here in Camden County and I really didn't expect an opportunity to come up so soon that would allow me to run for office." he said. "After visiting with family and friends, I felt like this was a good time as any to run."
Filing for the position doesn't open until January. Until he officially files, Hamner said he will be putting his campaign together. He has already formed a fundraising campaign. The next step is a website and to get out and meet the public.
Hamner said he feels that after attending school here and benefitting from the scholarships he received to continue his education, he has an obligation to give back to the community that helped him achieve his goals.
"So many of my friends went off to college and moved away from the lake area, it was important to me to come back and become a local homegrown professional," he said. "To be a good example for students to realize they can return home and achieve their goals. I like that concept."
If Hamner is successful in the 2014 August Republican Primary, he will run in the November General Election.
Hamner and his wife, Sherrie, who is also an attorney, reside in Osage Beach. They have two daughters, Isabella, 7, and Emery, 3.
Hamner is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association and is the President of the Missouri 26th Circuit Bar Association. In addition, he is a member of many local civic organizations. He is a past president of the Camdenton Rotary Club, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Camdenton Laker Athletic Booster Board.
Page 2 of 2 - EDUCATION
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 2001, JD
-Order of the Coif
-Order of the Barristers
-Missouri Law Review, Lead Articles Editor, 1999-2001
University of Missouri-Columbia, 1998, BA, Communications
-Honors: Cum Laude
-Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
-Honors: Mortar Board
Camdenton High School, Class of 1994