ELIZABETHTOWN — San Jose hosted a literal who’s-who from the tri-county region of Bladen. Columbus and Brunswick on Thursday when folks gathered for an appreciation reception to honor Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Douglas B. Sasser.
In attendance were the likes of District Attorney Jon David, Clerk of Courts Niki Dennis, Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher, Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell, White Lake Mayor Goldston Womble, District Court Judge Scott Ussery, Bladen County Democratic Party Chairman Zach Singletary, several county commissioners, several county school board members and numerous attorneys.
The event was somewhat of an official kickoff to Sasser’s campaign for re-election to the non-partisan position.
“I’m extremely happy to such a large, bi-partisan group here and I really appreciate all of their support,” Sasser said. “It feels good to see law enforcement along with so many elected officials — and there are even attorney’s from both the prosecution and defense sides here.
“They all must think I’m doing OK,” he added.
Sasser has spent the past 16 years on the bench for the 13th Prosecutorial District. He served as a District Court judge in Bladen County from 2000 to 2007, when he was appointed to the Superior Court bench for two years. In 2009 he campaigned for the Superior Court position and won his first full term. All of his campaigns have thus far been unopposed — until now.
In the Nov. 8 general election, Sasser will be opposed by Christopher W. Livingston of White Oak.
On Thursday, Sasser was applauded for his service by Womble.
“We are lucky and blessed to have a man like Doug Sasser serving as judge in the 13th District,” Womble told the crowd. “He knows the law, is well-respected and liked, and he acts like a judge should act — he won’t ever embarrass any of us.”
Sasser said he takes his job seriously and enjoys going to work everyday.
“It’s the best job in the world — until it gets quiet (in the courtroom) and everyone is looking at me,” Sasser joked. “But I try to treat everyone with respect. I see some bad people come before me, but I also see some good people who made a bad decision. They each deserve to be treated fairly.”
That work habit resonates and is noticed by those attorneys who bring clients before Sasser’s bench.
“Judge Sasser is fair, honest and straight as an arrow,” said Elizabethtown Allen Johnson. “I just can’t say enough about the job he does in Superior Court.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.