BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Tim Campbell is the incumbent Bay County judge and is running for re-election against Hoot Crawford.
Who is Tim Campbell?
Campbell is a lifelong resident of Bay County and a lifelong Christian. He met his wife, Debbie, while at Florida State, with whom he is celebrating 30 years in August.
He has been practicing law since 1984 and has experience in both civil and criminal law.
He also manned the phones for the MDA telethon, rung the bell for Salvation Army, is on the board of the Nature and Discovery Center, was the president of the Panama City JCs and the Bay County Bar Association. in 1991, he received the president’s Pro Bono award for providing free legal services to the poor.
Campbell served as the chief administrative county judge and is currently the circuit representative to the board for the state organization of judges and chaired the Constitution Revision Committee and the Small Claims Rules Committee.
How do you respond to opposing candidate Hoot Crawford’s statements about your time as judge?
“First of all, I’m offended about saying that I don’t work,” Campbell said. “I have always been a workaholic.”
Campbell said he took a pay cut when leaving his practice to take the job of Bay County judge.
Hurricane Michael and COVID-19 have both increased the case load, Campbell said. It’s a joint effort between the IT team and all the judges, he said.
He said there is a backlog of small claims cases because oftentimes the cost in fees to pursue a case is higher than the amount being sued over, so many get dropped and are then out of the judge’s hands.
Is there anything you would like to see change about our judicial system in order to increase efficiency?
Improvements in technology would help handle the volume, Campbell said.
What is your take on police reform?
Legislature may be working on reforms for better training, Campbell said, but he cannot comment on how he feels either way. He said he thinks open communication between police and community leaders would improve things.
“Don’t let one bad apple spoil it for the rest of them.”
Should marijuana continue to be prosecuted under Florida law?
He said as a judge, he should not advocate either way and that judges should not legislate from the bench. But legislature is looking at making changes.
However, it is still the law.
“I do work hard. I want to keep working for this county; I love Bay County.”