A Bryant attorney was sworn in Monday as the newest Saline County District Judge for the Benton District. 

A crowd watched outside the Saline County Courthouse as Josh Newton, standing with his family, was sworn in by Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold. 

Newton was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to serve as district judge after longtime Saline County District Judge Mike Robinson announced he would be retiring. 

"I'm honored to have been appointed. I will do my very best to serve this county and our community with honor and with justice," Newton said to those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony. "This is humbling. Thank you." 

Since 2015, Newton has served as the primary attorney for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. From 2009 to 2015, Newton served in the Office of General Counsel in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

He has clerked for 8th Circuit Judge Lavenski R. Smith and federal bankruptcy Judge Margaret A. Mahoney. 

He is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law. 

Newton volunteers for Project Zero, a nonprofit for the benefit of foster children; the prison ministry Angel Tree and as a coach of youth sports in Saline County. 

Robinson had served in the Benton District after being elected to the seat in 1998. 

"For the past two decades it has been my pleasure to serve Saline County where my family has called home since before the Civil War. Protecting the ideals enumerated in the U.S. Constitution has and always will be my highest priority. I would like to thank the voters of Saline County for giving me this privilege," Robinson said.

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