St. Joseph County Probate Judge Thomas Shumaker has decided NOT to seek another term this year.
Shumaker, 68, is his 24th year as Probate Judge. He announced his decision in the following news release:
DECISION NOT TO SEEK RE-ELECTION
BY JUDGE THOMAS E. SHUMAKER
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY PROBATE JUDGE
After a period of evaluating the opportunities in my future, I have decided not to seek re-election as St. Joseph County Probate Judge in 2012. I feel this is best for me, my family and my staff. I am not leaving the community. My wife is still working, and I love everything about St. Joseph County and its citizens. I can’t say I am retiring, for I have ideas of what I yet want to accomplish. I will take some time in 2012 to settle into a plan. I would like to exercise more, spend time outdoors and still take a long vacation with my wife in Mexico.
It is time I stop judging others and turn to helping others, for as things exist I find it harder to do so from the bench. I know this means two judicial elections this fall, but the citizens of St. Joseph County then can have a voice, for I know I would not complete another 6 year term. I respect Judge Welty, and I wanted him to announce his retirement before I disclosed my plans prior to the incumbency filing deadline March 26.
I will continue to do in 2012 what I have done for 24 years and fulfill my commitment to the citizens of St. Joseph County that I am proud to have served. Working with youth and families has been my passion. Being Probate Judge has been a wonderful opportunity to serve the public. Serving others will continue to be my commitment even after I leave the bench.
I am fortunate to have worked with a very talented and committed staff over the years. We have run a very efficient Probate Court as a safety net for all from birth to the grave and beyond. The Juvenile Court has developed innovative and cost-effective programs. These programs have been very successful to reform youth and their families and reduced the need for out of home and out of county services. Supporting local resource families will continue to be one of my interests including creating more local foster homes and helping persons raising other people’s children.