Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Bob Vance is pursuing the role of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice.
This is his second campaign for the position. Vance ran against Judge Roy Moore six years ago. He lost by four points.
Now, Vance faces Justice Tom Parker on the ballot November sixth.
A look around judge Bob Vance’s chambers, it’s easy to learn something about him.
The father of four has his family on display, and also special memories including a frame highlighting his finish at the Marine Corp Marathon in 2001 in Washington.
“That was my first marathon and it about killed me but I did finish,” Vance told us with a smile. “That was a good day.”
Vance says that experience groomed him for this campaign.
“A campaign’s a lot like a marathon,” said Vance. “It forces you to see the big picture when you’re running 24 miles. You can’t get caught up on what’s going to happen when you catch the next block or the next mile or so.”
Now, Vance is focused on the big picture in his quest to be Alabama’s chief justice.
“I’ve been a trial judge here in Birmingham for the last 16 years so that’s my perspective, that’s where I come from,” said Vance. “I’ve the struggles and challenges and problems our court system has faced over those years.”
He’s gaining bi-partisan support, accepting financial campaign contributions from two former republican justices.
“It’s been a great honor to receive their support,” said Vance.
Still, Vance sees no role for party in his positon.
“Party should never play a role in the position of any judge, from chief justice on down. Yes, we’ve got to participate in the political process to be elected but once we become judges and walk into courthouses across the state of Alabama, there cannot be any place for politics of any sort. We’ve got to decide cases on facts and law, period.”
He says his campaign has been focused on not only introducing himself to voters, but also explaining why the role of chief justice is so important.
“The number one priority is making sure our courts function like we need to function to serve the people of Alabama,” Vance said. “That’s not a given. It’s difficult. We’ve always had funding difficulties ever since I’ve been a judge and while funding’s always been tight, the demands on the courts have been ever increasing.”
Those are demands he hopes to help meet, if he wins November six.