Columbia County Chief Magistrate Bobby confirmed Friday that he’s been activated through the Georgia Army National Guard.
“As of May 14, I am going to be on active duty,” Christine said. “I’m being mobilized to backfill an active duty officer who is going overseas.”
Christine opted not to seek re-election because of the likely activation.
He’s served four years as associate magistrate before being appointed to fill the nearly four remaining years of former Chief J. Wade Padgett’s term in February 2009. That term ends Dec. 31.
Christine said there are procedures in place to keep the court running in his absence.
But U.S. Army regulations prevent Christine from being activated and on a ballot at the same time.
Anticipating the activation and possible deployment, Christine announced in December that he wouldn’t run to allow other qualified people to qualify to run for the position. He didn’t want to wait until closer to the May 23-25 qualifying dates to see if the orders would be confirmed.
Associate Magistrate Jason Troiano, and local attorneys Jason Hasty and Chris Hudson have announced their intent to seek the seat.
Christine, a National Guard lieutenant colonel, is a Judge Advocate General officer. He was activated and deployed to Iraq for 14 months in 2003 and 2004.
Though he’s met his obligations to the Army and can walk away from the reserves at any time, Christine said he has one more year to serve before he meets the 20 years of service needed to retire.
“Many reservists have done much more than I have,” Christine said, adding he’ll likely be serving stateside.