03/03/08 — Chris Rogerson running for District 8 Court Judge

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Chris Rogerson running for District 8 Court Judge

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on March 3, 2008 1:45 PM

With only one of the District 8 District Court judge seats vacant this year, three candidates have decided to throw their hats into the ring -- the latest being Kinston attorney Chris Rogerson.

Rogerson, who operates his own private practice in Lenoir County, said that becoming a district court judge has long been one of his personal goals.

"I've always wanted to be a district court judge since I got out of law school. It's always been a goal of mine," he said. "And this is the best opportunity, being as there's an open seat."

He explained that he thinks his 11 years as a practicing attorney -- representing clients in both District and Superior Court and in both criminal and civil matters -- have given him the experience and the tools necessary to sit on the bench.

"The district court judge does a wide variety of cases," he said. "Most people would call them the blue collar workers of the judicial system, and I've done everything a district court judge gets an opportunity to hear on a day-to-day basis."

And that, he continued, is what he thinks gives him a leg up on his competition -- William Bland and Charles Gaylor III.

"I certainly respect both of them, and they're good attorneys," Rogerson said. "I just think I've got the foundation and experience to go into the position immediately ready to work."

Running with a campaign theme of "Justice for All," he promised to represent the judicial district and state with "honesty, integrity and fairness," and to "strive every day to work hard with the community to provide a system of justice that is both fair and efficient."

"I want to make sure people are treated fairly regardless of their situation," he said. "It really boils down to fairness and the Golden Rule."

A graduate of Campbell University and Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Rogerson explained that his interest in the legal profession was first stoked during a career fair at Kinston High School when a couple of lawyers came to make their presentation.

"They started talking about how fun it was to be a lawyer," he said. "To hear them talk about how exciting it was to be in the courtroom ..."

It was, he added, all he needed to hear.

And for the last eight years he's been practicing on his own.

Rogerson, 37, also is on the Executive Board for the Eastern Pregnancy Care Center for both Lenoir and Craven counties, a board member for the Lenoir County Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee, a volunteer judge for the Lenoir and Greene County Teen Court Programs, an honorary member of the Lenoir, Greene and Jones County Law Enforcement Associations, as well as a member and church attorney for the First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Kinston and a member of the Gideon's International.

The seat the trio is running for is the one previously held by Joe Setzer who has announced that he would be retiring at the end of his term.