Saying he is unsure that he is eligible to seek a newly created seat as a district judge, State Rep. John Paul Jordan announced Tuesday that he has suspended his campaign.
Jordan made the announcement during a legislative breakfast sponsored by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.
Jordan was one of two candidates for Judicial District 26 District Judge, Seat 2. He was to have faced Special Judge Jack McCurdy in the Nov. 6 general election.
The seat was created about two years ago by the state legislature to help with the growing caseload in Canadian County.
Jordan said that while doing some research for other members of the legislature about job opportunities, he discovered that he might be constitutionally ineligible to seek that office.
Jordan said Article 5, Section 23 of the state constitution prevents him from being elected to a position that was created in the last two years of his tenure in the legislature, and this seat was created during that time frame.
“Through my own research looking into it, one of the things I came back on is the judicial seat I am running for, for me to actually be elected to it, would potentially violate the state constitution. Therefore I am suspending my campaign,” he told the group of about 20 people.
“This is not something you do lightly. … I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking into this,” Jordan said.
The position, while it is new to Canadian County, it is not a new seat. It is being moved from another judicial district.
However, it is still occurring due to legislation that was passed in the previous two years.
He said that while he likely could have been elected to the office, and no one be the wiser, it is about integrity.
“I was the only person to figure it out, and we had some of the best legal minds in the state coming to my office saying that I should run,” he said.
Jordan said even the administrator of the courts wasn’t sure there would be a violation.
“For me, it’s that issue of having integrity and what I have ran for in the last four years of service and what I’ve worked for my entire life. It’s who I am and the character I want to carry. I have to look at myself in the mirror,” Jordan said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
Jordan said he is unsure what the future will hold for him.
He has served in the state legislature for the past four years and decided to give up his seat to run for the district judge’s seat.
He said he may consider seeking a position of special judge, which was vacated last week with the retirement of Gary McCurdy.
The application process for that office has not begun. It will be filled by District Judge Paul Hesse.
While Jordan has suspended his campaign, his name will still appear on the November ballot along with Jack McCurdy’s, according to officials with the state election board.
Jack McCurdy said Tuesday that he and Jordan visited Monday, and he was surprised by Jordan’s decision to suspend his campaign.
“I was surprised. It came out of the blue. I wasn’t really expecting that,” said McCurdy.
McCurdy said because Jordan’s name will still appear on the ballot, he will continue to campaign as he had previously done.
“Unless you get the word out to everyone, there will be people out there who don’t know that. People will still have the opportunity to vote for him. I intend to stay on the same plan I had. I already had it laid out. I will be waving to the crowd Saturday at the Czech parade, and will move on from there,” McCurdy said.