Morrell campaign kick off

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COLUMBIA - Stephanie Morrell launched her campaign Sunday for Boone County Division 11 associate judge.

The position presides over most misdemeanors, family court, and landlord/tenant disputes in Boone County. 

Morrell is running to replace Judge Deborah Daniels, a democrat, who retired in February.

The Boone County Democratic Central Committee nominated Morrell to succeed Daniels, but Governor Eric Greitens appointed Joshua Devine to complete the final months of the four-year term. 

Morrell hosted roughly 30 supporters at Shakespeare's Pizza West, and said her experience sets her apart.

 "I have been in front of the Missouri Supreme Court over a dozen times, I have done close to thirty bench and jury trials," she said. "My experience is in a courtroom. I know the law."

Morrell has worked in the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's Office since 2007 and served as an Assistant Attorney General before that.

She supports an expansion of alternative sentencing courts, which provide alternatives to jail time. 

Morrell is running against Kevin O'Brien in the democratic primary in August. The winner will run against republican Devine in November. 

O'Brien is an attorney who practices out of his own law firm in Columbia.

He said he is going door to door to share his message with voters. 

Devine was an attorney for Rogers Ehrhardt, focusing on civil litigation. Before that, he was an associate at Ford, Parshall & Baker, LLC.

In a press release announcing Devine's appointment, Governor Greitens said “Josh is a talented lawyer with a wide range of litigation experience serving the people and businesses of mid-Missouri. Josh Devine will be an outstanding judge to serve the people of Boone County for years to come.”

The Boone County Republicans did not return a request for comment.