Closing in on more than 30 years as a judge, Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. "Robbie" Turner announced Monday that he will not seek re-election.
He will remain a "senior judge," serving on occasions when needed, and plans to travel and enjoy life as a retiree, he said.
In a letter addressing the citizens of Bulloch County he provided the Statesboro Herald, Turner said, "It has been a distinct honor and privilege to have served the citizens of four counties of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit as your judge for the last 19 years."
Turner obtained a bachelor's degree from Georgia Southern College (now University) and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1975.
Before becoming superior court judge, he served as a public defender and assistant district attorney, then as state court judge of Bulloch County.
"On Dec. 31, 2016, I will have completed 32 years on the bench - 12 years as state court judge of Bulloch County and 20 years as superior court judge of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Bulloch, Jenkins, Effingham and Screven counties," he said. "After 32 years, I feel that the time has come for me to retire and, therefore, I will not qualify to run for re-election in 2016."
The title of senior judge refers to a judge who retires from the bench after at least 10 years of service who may continue to serve as a justice or judge in any Georgia court at the request of an active judge.
"I hope to spend more time with friends and family, to serve as senior judge and to travel," Turner said. "I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the dedicated public servants with whom I have served, and to the people of the Ogeechee Circuit."
He said he has enjoyed his years as judge and meeting people.
"I have been very fortunate to meet many of you during my tenure," he said in the letter. "Traveling around the circuit gave me the chance to get to know many good folks whom I would otherwise not have met."
Candidates who plan to qualify for this office may do so during the week of March 7-11.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.