Despite 29-3 local bar vote, Delegate Bloxom mum on his choice for next circuit judge

State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, left, and Delegate Rob Bloxom

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

State Delegate Robert Bloxom on Thursday, Dec. 7, declined to say whom he would support to be the Eastern Shore’s next circuit judge despite a near-unanimous vote by local attorneys against appointing retiring state Sen. Lynwood Lewis to the seat.

“I won’t tell you who I voted for for president,” said Bloxom, seated next to Lewis at that head table during the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, held at the Oyster Farm in Cape Charles.

He added, “I’m not going to tell you who I’m going to vote for for that, either,” Bloxom said, referring to the General Assembly’s selection of the next judge.

Also during the breakfast, Lewis said — in response to a question — that he was not promised a judgeship or favoritism by the General Assembly in exchange for retiring, rather than running against fellow state Sen. Bill DeSteph.

Lewis, a Democrat, and DeSteph, a Republican, both sitting state senators, were included in the same senate district during the last statewide redistricting.

The Eastern Shore Bar Association voted Nov. 8 to recommend to the General Assembly that local General District Court Judge Gordon Vincent be the next circuit judge.

Vincent, who has been an Eastern Shore general district court judge for 17 years, defeated Lewis in the vote among local attorneys, 29-3.

Bloxom, speaking at the chamber meeting, said the General Assembly is not bound by the local bar association’s vote.

“We will take into advisement what the local bar says,” said Bloxom, but he added the General Assembly is “under no obligation” to pick the local bar association’s choice.

Lewis, a 20-year General Assembly member, said at an October bar association meeting that his reputation of working with colleagues regardless of political party would give him “widespread bipartisan support” in the judicial selection process.

Vincent said his years of experience as a judge with criminal trials, procedure, and evidence would serve him well because of the Eastern Shore circuit court’s heavy docket of criminal cases.

The General Assembly session begins Jan. 10, 2024.

State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, left, and Delegate Rob Bloxom

A circuit judge vacancy has been created by the Dec. 31 retirement of W. Revell Lewis III.

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