Five things you need to know about Bob Vance

Judge Bob Vance
[Photo Credit: Jim Teed]

Now that the runoff elections are over, voters are turning their attention to the November General Election less than 90 days away.

In the race for Chief Justice, Democratic nominee Judge Bob Vance ran without opposition in the June 5 primary. Now he moves to the General Election, facing Republican nominee Associate Justice Tom Parker.

With that in mind, here are the five things you need to know about Bob Vance:

1. Worked as a lawyer for 16 years before becoming a judge

Vance attended the University of Virginia School of Law, returning to Birmingham in 1986 to join the law firm of Johnston Barton Proctor Swedlaw & Naff. There, he focused his practice on several forms of litigation, including commercial and class action defense and employment cases, according to his campaign website.

2. He’s been a Circuit Judge since 2002

Vance was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Jefferson County Circuit Court in 2002 – and it stuck.

3. He ran for re-election in 2004, 2010 and 2016 — without opposition.

Since his appointment in 2002, Vance has sought re-election to the seat three times, running without opposition.

As a Circuit Judge, Vance has presided over numerous civil actions cases including: medical malpractice, automobile accident disputes, and workers’ compensation claims.

4. He’s run for this seat before

In 2012, Vance entered what he knew was going to be an uphill battle for the Chief Justice seat, running against former Chief Justice Roy Moore. Although he knew the fight to the top would be tough, Vance came within 4 points of beating Moore.

“We have gotten our message out effectively. We have competed against a very well-known opponent in a very red state, and we have fought down to the wire, and I am proud of our efforts in that regard,” Vance told

5. He’s the son of Robert S. Vance, former chairman for the Alabama Democratic Party

Robert S. Vance was the Chairman for the Alabama Democratic Party in the mid 1960’s. “He was very much a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement,” Bob Vance told “He got involved in politics and eventually he was elected as chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, I believe in 1966.”

In 1989, Robert Vance received a package, he brought it inside, and placed it on the table in front of his wife. As he opened the package a pipe-bomb exploded across the kitchen, killing Vance, and severely injuring his wife.

“At first I was angry. I was angry and frustrated,” Vance continued. “And of course for a while I had those questions. Who did this, Why did he do it?”

In 1991 Walter Leroy Moody was convicted of killing Vance, Moody himself was executed by the state of Alabama earlier this year.