Two lawyers are in a Nov. 8 runoff for the nonpartisan race for Polk County judge, group 8. The two received the most votes from among the five candidates in the Aug. 23 primary. A runoff is needed because no candidate received a majority of votes in the primary election.

There is no incumbent; the previous group 8 judge, Susan Barber, was elected to the circuit court without opposition and will replace Judge Donald Jacobsen, who is retiring. County judges typically hear cases involving criminal misdemeanors, traffic cases and civil cases under $30,000 (That cap rises to $50,000 in Jan. 1). The term of office is six years.

John Flynn

John Flynn
  • Mulberry, age 48
  • Website
  • Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
  • Campaign finance
  • Current occupation: Private practice focusing on criminal cases with experience in family and civil law; former prosecutor
  • Campaign slogan: I am a Believer in the Constitution
  • Endorsements: Sheriff Grady Judd, Kevin Balentine, Esq., Valerie Wright, Esq., Lopez & Humphries, PA, Fat Jack’s owner Mark Westfall

Ruth Moracen Knight

Ruth Moracen Knight
  • Lakeland, age 54
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Campaign finance
  • Current occupation: Public Defender’s Office or 20 years.
  • Campaign slogan: The necessary experience, temperament and skills to be elected as county judge
  • Endorsements: Polk County Voters’ League, Polk County Democratic Black Caucus, primary election opponent Tara Wheat

News links

  • Five lawyers contend for Polk County judicial vacancy – The Ledger , Aug. 8
  • Claim of partisan campaigning emerges in Polk County judge election – The Ledger, Aug. 19
  • Polk GOP Removes Website Promotion for a Candidate in a Nonpartisan Judicial Race – LkldNow, Aug. 19
  • Flynn, Knight face each other in judicial runoff – The Ledger, Oct. 18

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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  1. Personally, I think anyone running for Polk County Judge should be required to list their political affiliation… Just saying.

  2. I agree with Tom Determan. It would be beneficial to have the political affiliation of any person running for any public office.

  3. I’m actually doing research and that’s exactly what i’m looking for, their
    political affiliation

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