PRINCETON -- Mercer County Chief Judge Derek Swope has appointed former Magistrate Charles N. Poe to replace Magistrate Richard D. Fowler, who is retiring effective Feb. 28.

Poe, like Fowler, is a Democrat. Poe served as magistrate from 2008 to 2012, so he does not need to be trained. He lost his bid for re-election in 2012, finishing sixth in a general election race in which five candidates were elected.

Poe served in Bluefield in his previous term, but he will take over Fowler’s duties and his office in the Mercer County Judicial Annex in Princeton. He also will retain Fowler’s assistant, Kathleen Dillon, who has more than 20 years of experience in the magistrate court system.

Poe was the unanimous choice of the three Mercer Circuit Court judges.

“After losing and being appointed, it’s kind of like being born again," Poe said. "I’m looking
forward to coming back, and coming back to Princeton.

"I worked in Princeton as a police officer for 22 years."

He will be sworn in to office Feb. 28. He will fill the seat until the general election in 2016, when he plans to seek election to the position once again.

Fowler currently is the Chief Magistrate, a job that rotates. After his retirement, Sandra S. Dorsey will become Chief Magistrate for the remainder of the 2014 calendar year.

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