Friday final day to seek Probate Judge seat

Published 9:07 pm Thursday, March 12, 2009

For some Friday the 13th may seem unlucky, but to at least one, that won’t be the case.

By the end of today, the deadline to submit applications for the almost vacant Pike County Probate Judge seat will close, with at least six locals in the running.

Though an appointment to the position won’t be made Friday, Gov. Bob Riley will begin reviewing applicants and possibly interviewing potential candidates.

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Names have circulated for weeks of just who is in line to take the place of Probate Judge Bill Stone when his retirement becomes official April 1.

Here’s what The Messenger knows:

Neal Armstrong, employee with the Administrative Office of Courts in Montgomery, said all along he has been considering application. But, that consideration was made official this last week.

“I personally walked over to the governor’s office and submitted my resume and cover letter last week,” Armstrong said. “I made my decision off my desire to help the citizens of Pike County using the experience I’ve gained from 10 plus years of working in Montgomery at the Administrative Office of Courts.”

Armstrong, 38, was born and raised in Troy.

A Brundidge man whose name hasn’t been circulating as long has also placed his name for consideration.

Don Dickert, municipal judge for the city of Brundige, family business owner and attorney, said he feels his experience makes him qualified for the seat.

“I just feel like I’ve got the qualifications and experience necessary to do a good job,” Dickert said.

Dickert, born and raised in Brundidge, has lived in Pike County nearly all his life.

Others who have already announced their application are: Angela Johnson, assistant attorney general; Matt Baker, attorney for Cevera, Ralph & Reeves; Clif Hastings, attorney for Cevera, Ralph & Reeves; and local attorney Bill Key.

There still remains Wes Allen, assistant athletics director for development at Troy University, who has declared his interest but hasn’t announced officially he is in the running.

Attorney Thomas Haigh, who previously said he was considering application, said he has decided against the idea.

“We have decided it looks like there are plenty of applicants, and we’re going to leave it to those who have already submitted their names,” Haigh said.

Though application deadline is today, there is not time frame on just when Riley will make the appointment to the seat.

Likely, it will be in the coming weeks, but Press Secretary Todd Stacy said Riley doesn’t necessarily have to choose the new public servant by April 1.