SIDNEY — With his hand raised high, and his wife, Pam, holding the Bible, Gary J. Carter was sworn in as Sidney Municipal Court Judge Friday afternoon.
Shelby County Common Pleas Court Judge James Stevenson administered the oath of office and then helped Carter don the black judge’s robe.
After taking a seat on the bench, Carter thanked those in attendance for the ceremony and those who helped get him elected to office.
Many of the judges Carter has worked with in the past were present for the occasion. Those judges included John Schmidt, who hired Carter, Norman Smith, Stevenson, William Zimmerman Sr. and Jeff Beigel.
“I’ve learned something from each of them,” said Carter.
Carter thank those supporters who put a sign in their yard during the campaign, were in a campaign video, went door-to-door to talk to voters, the Shelby County Republican Party for their support, Jim Jordan, Matt Huffman and Susan Manchester for their endorsement and all the peop0le who worked behind the scene to get him elected.
But most importantly, he thanked his family, wife Pam and sons, Matt and Luke, for their support.
“This took a lot of hard work and prayers to make this dream come true,” said Carter.
Carter said his middle initial of “J” stands for Joseph, his dad. Both his mom, Ruth, and dad served the community of Wapakoneta. Dad, who is 91, is a retired elementary school principal and Army veteran. His mom, who passed away five years ago, was a retired school teacher. She was the first woman elected to the Wapakoneta City Council.
“My parents set an example of hard work for me to follow,” said Carter. “See Dad, law school did pay off!”
Carter also thanked outgoing Judge Duane Goettemoeller for his help in making the transition from one judge to another go smoothly.
“I’ve met and started working with the staff,” said Carter. “There are dedicated and hardworking people in this office,”
Retired Judge Donald Luce also helped with the transition period, said Carter.
“This is our court,” said Carter. “It belongs to all the people in Shelby County.”
Stevenson said said Carter has many years of experience, which prepared him to be judge.
“He will be missed in the Common Pleas Court,” said Stevenson. Carter was the court’s magistrate for 28 years.
Stevenson also presented Carter with the gavel the first Municipal Court judge used in 1954. the gavel has been passed down to each judge since.
Carter defeated Goettemoeller in the November General Election to become the new Sidney Municipal Court judge.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.