Michael Collins Mug

Michael Collins

Republican nominee Michael Collins will take on the 15th Judicial District’s circuit court judgeship after defeating independent candidate Branden Bellar in Thursday’s election.

Collins claimed 63.8% of the vote, while Bellar won 36.2% of the 23,853 ballots cast. The two were competing for a vacancy left when Judge John Wootten Jr. retired in January.

The 15th Judicial District covers Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties. At press time, Collins has not returned a request for comment on his victory.

“Our Founding Fathers and Mothers decided that we’d have free and fair elections, and I respect and honor that,” Bellar said. “We ran a good clean campaign, and I’m proud of all the support we received. I wish Judge Collins well.”

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