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Judge Cole campaigns in St. Clair County for Court of Criminal Appeals

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, Judge Bill Cole was in St. Clair County campaigning to the St. Clair County Republican Party.  Cole is a Jefferson County Circuit Court job.  He is running in the Republican Primary for Place 3 on the Court of Criminal Appeals.

“When I first left the DAs office I went to work in the law office of Bill Cole,” St. Clair Republican Party Chairman Lance Bell, a prominent Pell City Attorney, said. “There is not a lawyer in this state who has written as many appeals.  He knows the job he is running for.”

Judge Bill Cole was born and raised in Jefferson County.  He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English.  He has a law degree from the University Of Alabama School of Law.  After law school, Cole practiced law in Birmingham from 1992 until 2005.

As an attorney, Cole has handled hundreds of criminal cases, and among these, he tried approximately 50 felony jury trials as an attorney.  Was also special prosecutor of the city of Homewood and a municipal judge for the city of Warrior.  In 2005, Cole was appointed to serve as a Circuit Court Judge in the Criminal Division of Jefferson County, Alabama.

Cole has conducted 160 felony trials with a fifth being for capital murder.

Cole said that he was re-elected but that he was one of the few Republicans to win re-election in Jefferson County.

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“I have been very involved in the Republican party in Jefferson County,” Cole said. “They are the ones who got me where I am.  There are 40 judges in Jefferson County.  Only three are Republicans.  I am the only one who won a contested race.  A lot of judges left the Republican party after Obama was elected.”

Cole has been married to Kelli Clayton Cole for 24 years. They have four children.  He coached youth baseball and soccer for 14 years. They attend Canterbury United Methodist Church. He and Kelli have taught Sunday School there for approximately 12 years.

Cole faces Donna Beaulieu in the Republican primary..

There is no Democratic candidate running for the seat on the court.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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Govan currently serves as the chief of the Criminal Trials Division at the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.