Presiding 17th Circuit Court Judge William “Bill” Collins will seek another six-year term on the bench, while a possible replacement for a retiring Division 5 Associate Circuit Judge has emerged in Cass County Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox.
Both will be on the election ballot in November.
Collins, a Republican who first was elected to the Division 1 Circuit Judge position in 2012, has filed for reelection and officially announced his bid in a press release last week.
Prior to his election as Circuit Judge, Collins was elected to five terms as a Division 3 Associate Circuit Judge beginning in 1994. He was reelected in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.
“After 23 years on the bench, I truly consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to serve the public in this capacity, and I very much look forward to serving another term in office,” Collins said in a statement.
Collins received an undergraduate degree in accounting from Rockhurst College in 1979 and earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1982.
Prior to his election as Associate Circuit Judge in Cass County, Collins was in private practice from 1982-1994. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Rockhurst University since 2004, teaching business organizations, evidence, family and tort law and also serves on Rockhurst’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board.
Collins is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges, the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association.
The 17th Judicial Circuit serves parts of Cass and Johnson counties.
Cox also recently announced that he hopes to fill the pending vacancy created when Associate Circuit Judge Daniel Olsen retires at the end of his term.
Cox — who grew up in Cass County, graduated from Raymore-Peculiar High School, earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and later earned a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City — has filed to run for Division 5 Associate Circuit Judge
“I have always considered Dan Olsen to be the gold standard of what we all expect a judge to be,” Cox said in a release announcing his candidacy. “His knowledge, integrity and work ethic are beyond reproach. While I regret to see him leave the bench in 2019, I am also very excited about the upcoming campaign and I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Cass County in this new capacity.”
Cox, a Republican, became Cass County presiding commissioner in 2012 and was reelected to a full four-year term in 2014. He announced last summer than he would not seek reelection.
Before joining the Cass County Commission, Cox served on the Raymore City Council from 2007 to 2012 and was an attorney member of the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board from 2006 to 2009.
He is licensed to practice law in Missouri in Kansas and has owned and operated Cox Law Office LLC in Raymore since 2003.
Before that, Cox clerked for the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office and for the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.