The Norman Transcript

Local news

June 19, 2013

10 attorneys remain in running for judge post

NORMAN — Ten attorneys are vying for the district judge seat being vacated by longtime Cleveland County Judge Tom Lucas, records show.

Lucas, 79, announced earlier this year that he will retire from the post Aug. 1. Judicial District 21 includes Cleveland, McClain and Garvin counties.

Originally, 13 people applied for the judgeship. The list was narrowed to 10 by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission, whose 15 members will interview all applicants and submit three names to Gov. Mary Fallin, who will make the final selection.

Currently, the 10 candidates are undergoing security checks conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

These checks are expected to be completed in late July, and names of the three nominees will be determined the same day that interviews are conducted.

The 10 finalists listed in alphabetical order are:

· Thad Balkman, a former state legislator for six years in the House, who has been in private practice since 2006. Balkman, 41, said he wants to carry on Lucas’ work by expanding drug courts statewide.

“I am a firm believer in helping people with substance abuse and mental illness problems,” Balkman said.

· David Batton, 61, a former longtime Cleveland County assistant district attorney who left the post in June 2012 and entered private practice. Batton was with the district attorney’s office for about nine years. The first half, he did mostly criminal law, and the last half civil law.

“I’m fairly neutral, based on my years of experience and background,” Batton said.

· Jeff Bryant, serving as city attorney for the city of Norman, a position he has had for about seven years. Bryant, 51, served earlier as an assistant city attorney.

“That was primarily a litigation position where I represented the city in state and federal courts,” Bryant said.

· Cheryl Clayton has been an attorney practicing primarily in Cleveland County for the past 35 years. Clayton, 61, has been a leader recently of a group of Norman residents opposed to some high-density zoning north of the Campus Corner area.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014