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Governor names Wilson to Cole County court

The always busy circuit court in Jefferson City won’t be left wanting with Judge Richard Callahan’s resignation.

Gov. Jay Nixon today says he’s appointing longtime state litigator Paul Wilson to serve as circuit judge for the 19th Circuit.

Callahan is stepping down Jan. 15 to become the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, and Wilson will take his place on the bench for now. His exact starting date hasn’t been determined, Nixon’s office said.

Cole County, like other circuits outside the state’s metropolitan areas, typically elects its judges through regular partisan ballots. But when a vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement who will serve until the next election, when he or she can run to stay on the job.

Wilson, 48 and a Jefferson City native, worked in the attorney general’s office for Nixon for more than 12 years. He moved to his current position as a budget adviser after Nixon became governor a year ago.

Wilson earned his law degree from the University of Missouri. His father was an associate circuit judge in Cole County for many years.