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Polk County needs a judge


BARTOW – The Tenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has been asked to provide Gov. Ron DeSantis with nominees for the vacancy on the Polk County Court created by the elevation of Judge Lori A. Winstead to the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court.

The commission requests that interested candidates submit an application for consideration. Applicants must meet the qualifications for county court judges described in Article V, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.

Applicants must submit two copies of their application by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 23, 2021,

as follows:

(1) : The original unredacted application shall be emailed in .pdf format to: [email protected]

(2) : A redacted .pdf of the application shall be emailed to [email protected] Personal information not subject to public disclosure—such as the social security number—shall be redacted as permitted by Section 119.071 of the Florida

Untimely applications will not be considered. The filename for .pdf applications should be as follows “21.07.23 FIRSTNAME LASTNAME County Application (redacted /unredacted).”

Applications may be downloaded from The Florida Bar’s website and the Office of the Governor.

NOTE TO APPLICANTS: To assist the Judicial Nominating Commission in its review of applications, all questions must be fully and completely answered. Applications must include current contact information, including e-mail addresses, for judges, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and references to facilitate the background investigation that will be conducted by the members of the commission.


Krista Mahalak (Chair)Peterson & Myers, P.A. 242 West Central Avenue

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-294-3360

[email protected]

Frederick J. Murphy, Jr. (Vice-Chair)Boswell & Dunlap, LLP

245 S. Central Avenue Bartow, FL 33830

Tel.: 863-533-7117

[email protected]

Patrice F. BehnstedtOffice of the Public Defender Polk County Courthouse Third Floor

P.O. Box 9000

Bartow, FL 33831-9000

Tel.: 863-534-4200

[email protected]

Benjamin W. Hardin, Jr.Hardin & Ball, P.A.

P.O. Box 3604

Lakeland, FL 33802-3604

Tel.: 863-688-5200

[email protected]

Edward Blake PaulPeterson & Myers, P.A

P.O. Box 24628

Lakeland, FL 33802-4628

Tel.: 863-683-6511

[email protected]

Robert S. SwaineSwaine & Harris, P.A.

425 S. Commerce Avenue

Sebring, FL 33870

Tel.: 863-385-1549

[email protected]

Richard E. StraughnStraughn & Turner, P.A.

255 Magnolia Avenue SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880 Tel: 863-293-1184

[email protected]

Lydia S. Zbrzeznj (Chair)Southern Atlantic Law Group,

PLLC 99 Sixth Street SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-656-6672

[email protected]

Nicholas T. ZbrzeznjSouthern Atlantic Law Group, PLLC

99 Sixth Street SW

Winter Haven, FL 33880

Tel.: 863-656-6672

[email protected]

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