District Judge Joe Enos said Thursday he will end his 32-year judicial career and retire at the end of his term in January.
Enos, 62, who presides over Stephens and Jefferson counties, said he decided to retire rather than seek re-election to another four-year term because he wasn’t sure he wanted to remain on the bench another four years.
“It would not be fair to remain in office with the idea that I might retire in midterm,” he said.
His term ends Jan. 11. The three-day filing period for candidates to seek the district judgeship will begin on Wednesday and end three days later on April 11.
“It has ben a pleasure and a rewarding experience to serve the 5th Judicial District as judge for Stephens and Jefferson counties,” Enos stated in a news release.
“It is very humbling to have been elected to such a responsible position for eight terms. I’ve been fortunate to serve with some of the most dedicated public officials and their staff in Stephens and Jefferson counties and to have a dedicated and hard-working staff without whose help I could not have had the success that I have had in performing my duties.
“I have been equally fortunate to have worked with the lawyers in Stephens and Jefferson counties who are among the state’s most accomplished and professional members of the legal profession. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and our friends.”
Enos, a native of Duncan, practiced law in Oklahoma City for about two years after graduation from the University of Oklahoma Law School. He then worked for the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office for two years.
He returned to Duncan, where his father practiced law, to work as an assistant district attorney for four years before he challenged and defeated the incumbent associate district judge in 1982.
Enos served six terms in that position before he was appointed district judge in 2005 by Gov. Brad Henry to fill the unexpired term of District Judge George W. Lindley, who retired.
Enos was re-elected without opposition in 2006 and 2010.
Enos and his wife Becky will celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary this summer.
She was a middle school home economics teacher for 36 before she retired in 2008.
The two were high school sweethearts who graduated from Duncan High School together in 1970 and were married in 1973 when they received their undergraduate degrees from OU, Enos said.
They have a daughter who is a speech pathologist in Edmond.