Judge Brown loss a stunner
JEFFERSON CITY – In a stunning defeat for an established judge, Cole County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Brown III lost his bid for re-election Nov. 7 when Republican challenger Jon E. Beetem recorded a convincing victory.
Beetem received 15,581 votes, or 52.9 percent of the vote. Brown, a Democrat, received 13,868, or 47.1 percent.
Brown, a sitting circuit judge since 1994, had been handling the Missouri Baptist Convention’s legal case against five breakaway agencies. It is not known at presstime how his departure might affect the case.
Beetem, a private practice attorney, told the Jefferson City News-Tribune he does not expect any difficulty transitioning into the judge’s job in January.
“I’m sure there are aspects about being a judge I’ll have to learn,” he said. “But I’ve practiced law for 14 years. I’ve done the type of governmental work that’s unique to Cole County. It has been a substantial portion of my practice.”