LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - A Comanche County Judge will be hanging up his robe at the end of the month.
Judge Kenny Harris has served as a Special Judge since 1999, but his service to our community goes back nearly 40 years.
Born and raised in Lawton, Special Judge Kenny Harris joined the Navy after he graduated from the University of Oklahoma. After his service, he went to law school and moved back to southwest Oklahoma. Once here, he decided to run for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
"From 1980 to 1988, there was four terms there in the Oklahoma House. Not a good idea for a young guy. That’s something an older guy needs to do. I had a family at home and trying to commute to Oklahoma City, being gone four days a week,” Harris said.
Judge Harris left the legislature and began working for the City of Lawton, first as a prosecutor and later as the municipal judge. He worked there until 1999 when he applied for, and was hired, to be a Special Judge.
"What an honor it is to serve the public. I’ve been in all three branches of government, I’ve made my life in government service. I’ve enjoyed being able to be at a point in time and a place in time to help someone. I’ve had that opportunity throughout my life because of government,” Harris said.
Over his 40-year career, Judge Harris said there have been several highlights, but some of his favorite moments are seeing the impact he’s had on others.
"When somebody comes back to me from years past and says thank you for what you did for me back in 19 whatever or 2005. That you took the time to listen to what my needs were and helped me to the extent you could. That will bring a tear to your eye because you don’t see it. You’re in a grind, you’re moving papers, you’re dealing with dozens of people every day,” Harris said.
Judge Harris said he will greatly miss several things about his job but what he’ll miss the most is what he’s leaving behind at the courthouse.
"The people, of course, the people are why I’m here. The people I’ve worked with in the past, the judges that have retired and moved on, I already miss them, the people in this building that are smiling and looking forward to interacting each day. Yea, I’m going to miss those people,” Harris said.
Judge Harris said he’s excited to travel to visit family and friends, as well as play lots of golf. Following Judge Harris' departure, his successor will be chosen by a vote of all of the District Judge’s in the district.