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Hoppe announces bid for Circuit Court judge

Major-crimes prosecutor David Hoppe announced his bid Monday for Jackson County Circuit Court judge.

Hoppe, a Jackson County deputy district attorney, says his professional background "uniquely" qualifies him for the Circuit Court's Position 2, which handles a hybrid caseload of criminal and domestic-relations matters under incumbent Judge J. Adam Peterson, who is seeking to remain on the job.

Hoppe vied for the post in 2013, when Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed Peterson, and also sought the Circuit Court bench in 2010, when judges Timothy Gerking and Benjamin Bloom were appointed.

"This is not something new," said Hoppe of his aspirations to the bench. "This isn't a consolation prize."

The 46-year-old Medford resident has worked for the District Attorney's Office since 2000 and ran for the post of district attorney in 2012 against Beth Heckert.

Hoppe cites his years of prosecuting child abuse, domestic violence, adult sexual assault and other crimes as preparation for adjudicating them. He handled divorces and child-custody disputes for five years in Klamath Falls. He also worked for the Klamath County District Attorney. Hoppe received his law degree in 1994 from Lewis & Clark in Portland after undergraduate studies at University of Michigan.

"Everybody knows what I've done," he said. "It's about what I want to do in the future."

Improving the courtroom experience for children is among Hoppe's campaign platforms. He said he would closely adhere to an Oregon statute that requires expedited proceedings in criminal cases with underage victims called to testify.

Domestic-violence cases also should be put on a fast track through the legal system, said Hoppe, because research shows that early intervention yields better outcomes for all parties involved. Holding violent offenders accountable is another aspect of serving as judge, he said.

Hoppe has tried four murder cases locally. April 7 is the date set for Hopper's fifth, the prosecution of Bourne Huddleston, accused of killing his wife, Kristy, in 2012.

Medford criminal-defense attorney Bill Francis has also filed for the position held by Peterson.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4487 or email slemon@mailtribune.com.

Hoppe announces bid for Circuit Court judge