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Area Residents Seek Open Circuit Judgeship

DAYTONA BEACH -- A U.S. prosecutor and two county judges are among 19 candidates seeking the circuit judgeship vacated earlier this month by David Monaco after his appointment to the 5th District Court of Appeal by Gov. Jeb Bush.

Rick Jancha, a lead prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office and a DeLand native, was among the candidates whose names were released Monday by New Smyrna Beach attorney Robert Trumbo, chairman of the judicial nominating commission. Volusia County Judges Frank Marriott and Steve deLaroche, are on the list as well.

Among the other candidates who work in the public sector are: Assistant State Attorney Dawn Fields of Deltona; Assistant Public Defender Mitchel Novas; Assistant Attorney General Belle Schumann; Assistant Public Defender Lyle Hitchens; Thomas Portuallo, a compensation claims judge; Todd Richardson, a staff attorney with the 5th District Court of Appeal; and Jene Marie Dwyer, a child support hearing officer.

Attorneys in private practice who applied are: Volusia residents James Purdy, David Beck, James Hahl, Jerome Mitchell, Ronald Nour, Michael Orfinger and David Thomas, along with Flagler resident and attorney Sidney Nowell and St. Augustine attorney Henry Swann.
The candidates will be interviewed Feb. 4 and 5 and a short list will be sent to Bush, who will choose the new judge.

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