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For Immediate Release - September 16, 1999
Contact: MJ Fox, (406)444-5516

Gov. Racicot Appoints New District Judge for 22nd Judicial District

HELENA-- Gov. MARC RACICOT today named Willis Blair Jones as District Judge in Montana's new 22nd Judicial District (Big Horn, Carbon and Stillwater counties).

Governor Racicot in naming the Montana native said, "The decision was a difficult one because all of the candidates are reputable attorneys and well-qualified for the position. In the judicial selection procedure, we closely examine writing samples, references and conduct objective interviews."

Blair Jones graduated from Billings West High School in 1970 where he was an honor student. He graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Montana State University, in 1974. In 1977, he graduated from the University of Montana Law School, in Missoula.

The 47 year-old Mr. Jones has his own private law practice in Columbus, Montana and serves as a part-time staff attorney for Stillwater County. Jones served as full-time Stillwater County Attorney from 1989-1994 and part-time Stillwater County Attorney from 1994-1996. Jones began practicing law in the firm of Jones, Olsen and Christensen, where his father Willis B. Jones was a senior partner.

Jones will assume his new position on January 1, 2000. The new judicial district was authorized by the 1999 Legislature in Senate Bill 273.

The two other candidates presented by the Judicial Nominating Commission to the Governor for consideration were Christine Cooke and Palmer Hoovestal.


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