Bowden to seek circuit judge office

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Probate Judge Ben Bowden has announced his intention to seek the office of Circuit Judge of Covington County (Place 2), currently held by Presiding Judge Ashley M. McKathan.

Ben Bowden

Ben Bowden

“It’s official. I spoke with Judge McKathan several weeks ago and he confirmed he is retiring,” Bowden said. “He is a great judge and a wise man. I hate to see him go. This will mean his seat will be vacant in the 2016 election and I plan to run for the job.”

Bowden received his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1992. While in law school, he served on the editorial board of the Alabama Law Review and finished in the Top 10 percent of his graduating class.

After graduation, Bowden entered active duty with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps, serving at Bitburg Air Base, Germany, and Aviano Air Base, Italy.

He completed his active-duty tour in 1997 and joined the law firm of Albrittons, Clifton, Alverson, Moody, and Bowden, P.C. in Andalusia. While there, Bowden maintained a general litigation practice while also serving as the municipal prosecutor for the City of Andalusia, municipal judge for the Town of Lockhart, Drug Task Force prosecutor and Chief Assistant District Attorney. During this time, Bowden successfully assisted in the prosecution of two capital murder cases, one of which is believed to be the longest jury trial in the history of Covington County.

Bowden has remained a member of the Air Force Reserves since leaving active duty. In 2008, he deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqui Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He currently holds the rank of colonel.

Bowden was appointed probate judge in 2008 by Gov. Bob Riley. He was elected to the same position in 2012 and is currently serving a six-year term.

The Circuit Court handles all felony criminal cases and civil cases that exceed $10,000. All jury trials are heard in circuit court. In addition, divorce, child custody, and child support are handled by the Circuit Court. It is the highest court at the county level.

Bowden has held various positions in the community, to include chairman of the Covington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, lay delegate to the 2000 and 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, president of the Andalusia Rotary Club, president of Andalusia Elementary PTO, president of the Andalusia Tennis Association, and Youth League coach. He is married to the former Angela Mobley, who is the librarian for Andalusia Elementary School.

He and Angie have two children, Anna Beth (20) and Sim (16). The Bowdens are active members of the First United Methodist Church of Andalusia.

In addition to his regular duties, Judge Bowden has served as a specially appointed circuit judge on a number of occasions to assist the current judges. In doing so, he has handled a wide range of criminal, civil, and domestic law cases at the circuit court level.

“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to serve as probate judge of Covington County for the last six and half years,” Bowden said. “I want to take this experience and use it to continue to help the citizens of Covington County. I believe I am ready.”