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Juneau County voters will soon have a chance to meet the candidates for judge. The Hatch Public Library in Mauston will be hosting a Judge’s Forum on March 27 at 6:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Hatch Public Library, Juneau County Anti-Domestic Violence Coalition, WRJC Radio Stations, and

The 90-minute forum is not a debate. Candidates will each be given equal time to answer the same questions, and are expected to not interrupt one another. The candidate who gets the first question will be decided by coin flip.

The candidates are former Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth and Former Juneau County Assistant District Attorney Stacy Smith.

Southworth said he “look(s) forward to sharing my ideas for treatment courts to address drug, alcohol and mental health issues, as well as ways to expedite cases involving victims to ensure they receive justice, too.”

Smith said he “would love to see many people show up to the forum, the more people the better.”

The April 3 election will fill the vacancy left by Judge John Roemer’s sudden retirement in August. Juneau County District Attorney Ken Hamm has said he is pleased both candidates have experience within the Juneau County Justice Center, and hopes whoever wins will be able to start immediately.

Smith hopes to see high turnout at the event. “The more people see both candidates, the better I will do in the election,” Smith said.

Southworth thanked the sponsors of the event.“I really appreciate the sponsors’ efforts to make this forum a positive community discussion,” Southworth said.

Governor Walker declined to appoint a successor to fill the vacancy left by Roemer’s resignation. During that time, the Juneau County Justice Center has been making due with one judge.

Both candidates have said, as Judge, they would enforce the law regardless of their personal beliefs.

The election is scheduled for April 3.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl