"Things can get heated," he said. "Tempers can flare."
Reeder said he relies on the patience and tolerance he's learned as a parent and volunteer with children and expects those experiences would serve him well as a judge.
Leslie and Reeder, for now, are hesitant to sling any mud on each other. They expressed respect for one another but wished each other a long, successful career as attorney instead of judge.
Reeder is a 1991 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and a 1987 graduate of the WVU College of Business and Economics. He has been in private practice in Kanawha and Putnam Counties for 21 years and is active in the Boy Scouts.
Leslie, also a Hurricane resident, earned a law degree from Ohio Northern University in 1993 and a history degree from Marshall University in 1988. He is active in his church youth program and the Lions Club.
"We get along," said Reeder. "And I don't expect this race to change that. There was an opportunity for the county to elect a new circuit judge, and I believe I'm the right candidate to fill that role."
Both candidates would expand the current juvenile drug court program in Putnam to include an adult component as an alternate sentencing option.
"Public safety is the most important factor," Leslie said. "But a judge has to look at other alternatives to prison. We need a secure facility for drug treatment, so they can't just walk out.
"I have to look at what effect a sentence has on the general public," Leslie said, addressing a concern about prison overcrowding. "The cost of incarceration is minor compared to the destruction a person can cause."
Reeder said, "Public safety is the primary concern, but other issues should be considered. If elected, I'll consider each sentence individually. But I feel in the last 10 years, I've handled triple or more the criminal matters as my opponent."