In a tight race for Putnam County's Superior Court Judge, Denny Bridges beat out Kraig Kinney by 2,677 votes. Bridges received 8,299 votes and Kinney had 5,622.
"I'm glad it's over. The nice thing about it was getting to know Kraig better. He is really nice guy," Bridges told the Banner Graphic Tuesday after the election results came in.
Born and raised in Putnam County, Bridges resides in Greencastle with his wife Tracy and children Carter, Carmen and Charlie. His grown son, Jeremiah and wife Natalie and their three sons also reside in Greencastle.
He has a private practice that concentrated in family and criminal law. He is also a part-time public defender, assigned to the Putnam Superior Court, and is an administrative law judge for the State of Indiana. His duty in that capacity is presiding over firearms permit revocation hearings.
After 27 years as an Indiana State Trooper, he retired and opened his law office in Greencastle. During his police tenure, he was assigned to the Lowell Post and served as a trooper, undercover agent and detective. The majority of the time he investigated violent crimes such as homicide, rape and robbery. His last assignment was at the Putnamville Post as chief of detectives, where he supervised investigations for the district.
A graduate of Greencastle High School, Bridges completed his undergraduate work at Concordia University-Wisconsin, with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. It was during his last assignment with the Indiana State Police that he attended Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, from which he received his doctor of jurisprudence degree.
He was the recipient of the first Judge Frances Hamilton Scholarship Award for students planning to return to Putnam County to practice law. He is a member of the Greencastle Elks and Rotary Clubs, the Nature Conservancy, and is currently president of the Putnam County Bar Association.
The Putnam County Superior Court handles approximately 7,000 cases a year, with the majority of the caseload in the areas of criminal, traffic and family law, as well as small claims cases.
"The first thing I am going to have to learn is the day to day operation of the office," said Bridges. "I know the courtroom part. The staffs up there (in the courtroom office) are really great and I know they will all help me. They are a really outstanding."