MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed Jackson County Magistrate Mark Lawson as a judge for the 7th Judicial district.

He replaces Charles Pelton who retired late last year.

Lawson was notified by the governor’s office today. He interviewed with the governor on Dec. 20.

Lawson said he will resign his magistrate’s position in Jackson County. He expects to start his new position in early February.

This the third time Lawson has been a finalist for a judge position.

Lawson said he will be based in Scott County and eventually will move into the rotation throughout the 7th Judicial District.

“I will enjoy being a judge,” Lawson said Friday morning. “It’s been a goal of mine, and I’ve been working on this for the past two years. It’s a whole different way to look at law.”

Lawson said he hopes to sell his private law practice in Maquoketa.

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Lawson has been a lawyer for 33 years. He’s been a magistrate for three years.

Lawson and his wife live in Bellevue. He said he doesn’t plan to move.

A new magistrate is expected to be appointed in the next few months for Jackson County. There are two part-time magistrates. The other magistrate is Ron Besch of Bellevue.

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