02/22/08 — Bland to run for district judge

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Bland to run for district judge

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 22, 2008 1:51 PM

Assistant district attorney Will Bland has announced he will seek election to the 8th Judicial District Court Judge seat being vacated retiring Judge Joe Setzer.

Bland, 48, said his dedication and experience make him a good fit for the position. He said he had long considered running for a seat on the bench and decided to enter the race when the opportunity presented itself.

Bland began practicing law in 1992, serving as assistant district attorney for Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties under former district attorney and judge Don Jacobs.

Bland is currently in private practice in Goldsboro with Bland, Heekin, Smith, Strickland and Stanley.

He said his experience with a wide variety of district court cases gives him the experience needed to do a good job. Working at the district court level appeals to him, Bland said, because of the range of cases.

"(It) has always appealed to me in the sense that there's so many people that find themselves there. It's important to me that they are treated fairly regardless of the outcome, that the process is fair," he said. "I believe in fundamental fairness and straight talk. In matters before the court, every party has the right to be heard, to be treated with respect and to have the law applied fairly."

A Goldsboro native, Bland comes from a family steeped in the law. His father was the late attorney W. Powell Bland and his grandfather, David Bland, served as a county judge.

"I think there's a commitment to public service instilled in me by my family and by my father and mother," Bland said.

There is a need for good district court judges, he says, and he has a "genuine interest in the position."

"I do have the breadth of experience in many of the different facets of district court and having come at issues from both sides gives me a perspective that will allow me to serve well if elected," he said.

He and wife, Ellen, live in Goldsboro with their two children, Jeff and .