Fourth Circuit: Pettaway unseats Jones

Published 1:50 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In a race that did not go the way of the incumbent, Circuit Court Judge Tommy Jones fell to challenger Collins Pettaway Jr. Tuesday.

In unofficial results, Pettaway beat Jones in Dallas County by 176 votes, but also swept the other counties in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, winning Wilcox, Perry, Bibb and Hale counties.


“We’re very grateful and thankful of the prayers and efforts for the people who supported us,” Pettaway said. “There’s a difference in being in public and private life … going into public office, we know it will be a challenge, but we’ll serve in (the seat) well.”

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For Jones, the loss will put an end to his 18-plus year career in the circuit, and puts him in position for a new chapter in his life.

“Where I go from here, is I go back to work. I’ve got nine months left and I am going to do my job and do it with the same quality that I’ve done it in the past and then we will see what the future holds,” Jones said. “God works in ways that are mysterious and he has a plan for me. And, I look forward to my next professional endeavor.”

Although Pettaway must wait nine months before taking office, he has plans for what he wants his court to be.

“This is an office that belongs to the people and we’ll never lose sight of that,” Pettaway said. “I think people want positive change … the people want to be heard and they heard the message that I’ll listen to their cries. We’re going to keep the people safe and look out for the people … (and we’ll) make sure we’ll take care of victims and listen to them.”

Pettaway said one of the first things he’ll do in office is move cases along faster.

“We’ll also have people come at different times for court,” Pettaway said. “With everybody’s prayers and help, it will all work out well together.”

In defeat, Jones offered congratulations to Pettaway and condolences to his supporters.

“I have to give it to Mr. Pettaway. He ran a good campaign, he won and I offer him my congratulations,” Jones said. “I hate it for the people that worked so hard for me and obviously I am disappointed that I am not going to continue on. But, there is another plan there for me and I look forward to finding out what that is.”