Three decades of experience working in the legal field and her "love for people" are what drive Lorna DeLoach to seek election as Bulloch County's next probate judge.
DeLoach is married to John "Corbett" DeLoach, who she said is a distant cousin of current Probate Judge Lee DeLoach, who is set to retire Dec. 31 and does not plan to run again.
Lorna DeLoach has 33 years of experience as a legal assistant and paralegal, she said. She announced Thursday that she intends to seek the probate judge seat.
DeLoach attended Georgia Southern College, and after leaving in 1983, she was employed with various law firms in Savannah. During that time, she took paralegal classes at the Coastal Georgia Center (under Armstrong State University/Georgia Southern).
In 1988, she began working as a legal assistant in Statesboro and has worked for three law firms over the course of 28 years, focusing on wills, estate planning and real estate.
Her "love for people and helping them meet their needs" is what prompted her to seek election as probate judge, she said.
"Some people are unaware of the fact that the probate court, prior to 1975, was known as the 'Court of Ordinary,' " she said. "The probate court is anything but ordinary. A great deal of focus is made on the fact that this office issues marriage licenses and firearm permits. This court is so much more. It also addresses the probating of wills, concerns regarding disabled and incapacitated adults, mental health proceedings and guardianships for minors and adults."
All of these areas "entail people going through some of life's toughest moments and seeking guidance and legal remedies in making heartbreaking decisions," she told the Statesboro Herald. "My aspirations are to show compassion and professionalism can go hand in hand. I want to continue to maintain the standard of honesty and morality that Judge Lee DeLoach has established over his tenure."
In addition to her paralegal duties, Lorna DeLoach also works as an office manager.
"I believe managing a law office and working in an administrative aspect is another reason I would be the best candidate for this position," she said. "Managing a staff, running the daily operations of a law office and juggling paralegal work that is very detail-oriented is a challenge. I like the diversity of both."
DeLoach is a 32-year resident of Bulloch County, and her husband is a native of Bulloch County and a local business owner. They have three sons, Ryan (Carmen) Hynko, Justin Hynko and Devon (Lauren) DeLoach, and one grandson, Jason Hynko.
She is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Bulloch and past member of the Statesboro Exchange Club and the Statesboro Junior Woman's Club.
"I am excited at the prospect of serving the citizens of Bulloch County in this position and ask for their consideration in voting for me," she said. "Several of our neighboring counties have outstanding women as their probate court judges, and it would be an honor to join them."
The deadline to vote in the May 24 general primary election is April 26. Qualifying for office is March 7-11.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.