Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney John Beger announced last week he will run for Circuit Judge, Division II, of the 25th Judicial Circuit.
The job is currently held by Hon. David Gregory Warren of Pulaski County, who was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon to continue the term of Hon. Mary Sheffield after she was appointed to the Court of Appeals. Judge Warren announced last Monday he would not be running to retain the seat.
The 25th Circuit is made up of Phelps, Pulaski, Texas and Maries counties.
Beger, a Republican, was elected prosecutor in 2010 with more than 70 percent of the vote in a contested primary against the incumbent and was unchallenged in the general election that November. Beger feels his 35 years experience as a lawyer would make him well qualified for the job of circuit judge. He was the first lawyer in Missouri to be board certified as both a civil and criminal trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and was named one of the top lawyers in Missouri and Kansas by lawyer rating firm Thomson Reuters before assuming the job of prosecutor.
Noting the changes that he has made to the prosecutor’s office during his term Beger said, “We started Saturday office hours for the convenience of the public, made the office paperless at no cost to the taxpayer using money seized from drug dealers and came in $41,000 dollars under budget in 2013.” He also said the personnel in the office had stabilized under his leadership.
Beger said it was accomplished while handling 48 percent of the criminal cases in the circuit even though Phelps County is only one-third of the population for the 25th Circuit, disposing of more than half the cases and trying more jury trials than the other three counties combined.
“I think the people of the 25th Circuit should be thankful for the outstanding job done by Judge Warren over the last year,” said Beger, “and I want to continue the tradition of even handed timely justice he has established.”
Beger’s wife, Cindy, is a broker-sales agent with Investment Realty in Rolla. They have been married 32 years and have two daughters. They are active in their church, Ozark Highlands Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, as well as various charitable organizations and foundations.