MORGANTOWN – Monongalia Circuit Judge Susan B. Tucker announced her plans to run for re-election to her current judicial post last week.
Tucker presides over criminal cases, civil cases, abuse and neglect cases and juvenile status and delinquency cases.
Tucker said she wants to continue working with juveniles and the anti-truancy program.
“When I was made aware of the direct correlation between kids not graduating high school and winding up in prison, it was so shocking to me,” Tucker said. “I wanted to do something about it, so I took it on as a project.”
Tucker said she has had approximately 43 cases this year involving the anti-truancy program.
“The people involved in this program are a dedicated group,” she said. “We even have two probation officers that go to the schools and lay eyes on the students and will help them.”
Tucker said she is very passionate about it.
“I just really want to help these kids and make a difference,” she said.
Tucker said her efforts first began when state Supreme Court Justice Robin Jean Davis gave a presentation showing the correlation between not graduating and going to prison.
“I don’t want our kids to end up in my courtroom or anyone else’s with criminal charges as adults,” she said.
Tucker previously served as Monongalia County’s elected prosecuting attorney for ten years.
“I was in the criminal justice system a large part of my career and I loved the judicial process,” she said. “Later, she decided to run for circuit judge.”
Tucker said she wanted to preside over high profile criminal and civil cases, but then found her passion was with juveniles.
“I love this part of my job and it is something I am very passionate about,” she said.
Tucker said before she became a judge, she thought she was prepared for the job, but discovered challenges.
“I thought I was prepared,” she said. “I didn’t know how challenging it was. You have to know everything. That is why I am thankful for our amazing law clerks. They are wonderful.”
The May 2016 election will be the first non-partisan judicial election in West Virginia’s history.
“This new election procedure mirrors the basic premise that all judges must follow: that decisions should be fair and impartial,” Tucker said. “I think it was wise of the legislature to understand that election of judicial officers should be consistent with this standard.”