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Johnson ousts Judge McKeller

Attorney Gene Johnson defeated District Court Judge Mack McKeller in the Nov. 3 election. Attorney Gene Johnson defeated District Court Judge Mack McKeller in the Nov. 3 election.

Republican challenger Gene Johnson on Tuesday defeated District Court Judge Mack McKeller, the only Democrat among District and Superior Court judges in the judicial district made up of Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties.

Johnson, 58, an attorney with Johnson Law Firm who lives in Hendersonville, won 60 percent of the vote.

"I have lived in all three counties that comprise the judicial district," Johnson said in a Lightning Q&A. "I know the communities and the people that reside in them. I am a fair, impartial and unbiased person. I treat people with dignity and respect irrespective of their race, religion, national origin, sex and economic background. I have handled hundreds of cases in the District Courts. I have seen how different judges handle the court docket, people and the administration of justice. I intend to use my knowledge and experience to improve the court system and make a positive impact upon those that come before the court."