By Conrad Dudderar
A Canadian County judge will not seek a new term as he prepares to retire after 39 years in the legal profession.
District Judge Jack D. McCurdy II won’t run for re-election to the position of District 2 district judge for Canadian County.
“I’ve enjoyed the practice of law, being a lawyer and being a judge,” the Yukon native said. “In Oklahoma and Canadian County especially, it’s still an honorable profession.”
McCurdy explained his decision to retire after the 2022 elections comes “after much discussion with my family, especially my three-year-old granddaughter who wants to ‘play with papa more’.”
“I will truly miss serving the citizens of Canadian County, but I feel that the judiciary in this county is one of the best in the state and I will be leaving it in great hands,” he said.
“I feel now is the time to devote myself to other things.”
McCurdy was elected as a Canadian County district judge in November 2018, defeating then-State Rep. John Paul Jordan (R-Yukon) who had dropped out of the race a month earlier.
McCurdy previously spent 24 years as an attorney and 11 years as a special judge.
“Many of my family members have been in public service,” said McCurdy, whose uncle was a congressman. “I felt that I could serve the community and it’s been an honor to be part of our outstanding judiciary.”
The next four-year term starts in January 2023.
McCurdy will officially retire as Canadian County district judge when his successor takes office.
Upon retirement, McCurdy plans to spend more time with family and stay busy with his hobbies. He turns 65 in June and his wife already is retired.
“We like to travel and go different places, but we’ve essentially been ‘shut-in’ for the last two years because of COVID,” McCurdy said. “And I like to hunt and fish all over the country.”
“I realize doing those things and being around family are so important. It was just time.”
On June 30, Judge McCurdy will celebrate his 15th year on the Canadian County bench. He was appointed special judge in 2007 by then-District Judge Edward C. Cunningham.
McCurdy started in private practice in 1983 after finishing law school, working for attorney Garland Bloodworth in Oklahoma City.
Some 1-1/2 years later, McCurdy opened his own law office in Yukon.
SECOND DISTRICT JUDGE POSITION
The Oklahoma Legislature created a second district judge position in Canadian County during the 2017 legislative session.
“We only had one district judge until 2018,” McCurdy explained. “Because of Canadian County’s growth in population and our caseload, the Supreme Court and Legislature moved a spot from eastern Oklahoma because that county’s population and caseload had declined.”
Canadian County court cases continue to increase as the population grows – more than 33% in the past decade.
“I can really envision, in the next two, three of four years, needing another judge,” McCurdy said. “Maybe not another district judge, but another special judge at the least because of the population explosion.”
Other members of the Canadian County judiciary are District Judge Paul Hesse, Associate District Judge Bob Hughey, Special Judge Charles Gass, Special Judge Barbara Hatfield, and Special Judge Khristan K. Strubhar.
District judges and associate district judges are elected; special judges are appointed.
Both Judge Hesse and Judge Hughey are seeking re-election to new four-year terms in 2022.
Candidate filing period will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, April 13-15 for county, state legislative, judicial, and congressional offices.
The primary election will be Tuesday, June 28 (run-off Aug. 23). The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 8.