District Court Judge David M. Ortley has decided not to run for re-election in 2016.
Ortley, 59, was first elected to the district court in 2010 and prior to that served as Flathead County justice of the peace for more than a decade. Ortley was raised in Minnesota and received an undergraduate degree in law enforcement from Mankato State University before graduating from the Hamline School of Law in 1983.
Ortley told the Beacon he announced his decision now so that potential candidates would have time to consider running for the seat. He also said that he didn’t want his decision to step down to be seen as a reflection of Gov. Steve Bullock’s upcoming decision on who to replace Judge Ted O. Lympus, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
“I look forward to completing the final year of my term in 2016 and to the opportunities ahead after 17 years of service as a judge in Flathead County,” Ortley said.
Ortley’s replacement will be elected in November 2016. District court judges serve six-year terms.
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