ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones (R, 24-1-02) announced on Thursday, Fe. 16 that he is running for reelection.

Jones said people should vote for him for his criminal case experience. He has served 20 years in the Altoona Police Department.

“I was able to transition onto the bench to take care of those cases and to learn more about the civil process, the truancy hearings we have to take care of, as well as the code enforcement court that we have each month here in my courtroom,” Jones said.

Jones said a lot of the cases he works with impact the community in a very substantial way because MDJs have a lot of direct contact with the people they serve.

“A lot of times if you go to the courthouse, you don’t necessarily have direct contact,” Jones said. “We are one-on-one with the citizens in our community on a regular basis.”

Jones said it’s important that people cast their ballot in magisterial, and all judicial, elections.

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“We’re making decisions that have a direct impact on many people’s lives, whether that’s the lives of families of defendants that come in front of us or the defendants themselves,” Jones said. “Some of the decisions we make have serious negative consequences on their lives based on what they’re accused on at the time, and you need somebody that has the knowledge, experience and common sense to deal with these situations and make sound decisions.”

As of Thursday, Feb. 16, Jones has no opponents for his seat. This seat is one of two for the city.