EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A longtime judge in southwestern Illinois' Madison County says he'll be putting down the gavel for good after his term expires next year.
Circuit Judge Charles Romani Jr. announced Tuesday that he won't seek retention in next year's election and will retire in November 2012.
Romani was appointed an associate judge 28 years ago and was elected a circuit judge in 1988.
The Vietnam veteran and former prosecutor says he's announcing his retirement plans now so others will have time to pursue the seat in the 3rd Judicial District covering Madison and Bond counties in next year's primary election.
Circuit judges have to seek retention every six years and must get at least 60 percent "yes" votes to keep their seats.