Patrick Davenport was sworn in Sunday as Houston County
Probate Judge, marking office's first such change in almost two decades. Davenport, flanked by his family, was
administered the oath by outgoing judge Luke Cooley. The Bible used was Davenport's great-grandparents.
An attorney, Davenport won the Republican primary earlier this year when he defeated Revenue Commissioner Starla Moss Matthews. He had no Democratic opposition in the General Election. Davenport has prior experience in the Probate office, having served as a fill-in for Cooley.
His new duties include presiding over mental and other commitment hearings, overseeing the tag office, issuing marriage and other licenses, and renewing driver's licenses.
Davenport has been married to Teresa for more than 25 years. The couple has three children; Shelby Leigh and twins Katie and Caroline. He is a deacon at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church where he also serves as Sunday School teacher. He is a former member of the U.S. Navy.
Cooley's term was not scheduled to end until January but she decided to retire a few weeks early. Davenport was appointed by Governor Bentley to fill her unexpired term. Cooley was first elected in 1994.