For Retention

Colbert and Two Others on Ballot

State supreme Court Justice Tom Colbert and two others are on the Nov. 3 general election ballot for retention votes.

Voters will determine whether the three retain their jobs, but they also will decide whether three Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and three Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals will retain their positions.

In addition to Justice Colbert, Justice Matthew John Kane IV and Justice Richard B. Darby.

Justice was the first Black appointed to the state’s high court.

Mr. Colbert was appointed to   that position in 2004 by Gov. Brad Henry.

In 2000, he was appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals by Gov. Frank Keating and was the first Black to serve on that court, as well.

Justice Kane was appointed to the high court by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2019.

Prior to that, Mr. Kane served as chief district judge of Osage County and presiding judge of the Northeast Judicial Administrative District, president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference and presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary.

Justice Darby was appointed to the bench in 2018 by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Before that, he served 23 years as a district judge in the Third Judicial District, which includes surrounding Altus.

He is a member of the appellate division of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary.

Voting on Oklahoma Supreme Court justices is not like voting for political candidates.   Justices won’t have anyone running against them. 

Under the retention ballot system, Oklahomans will simply be asked to vote yes or no on whether the justices should be retained.  State Supreme Court justices serve six-year terms.

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals judges whose names will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot are Robert L. Hudson and Gary L. Lumpkin.

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals judges whose names will appear on the retention ballot are Judges Jane P. Wiseman, Deborah B. Barnes and Keith Rapp.

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