Mary Hatcher built a strong lead over Denise Dymond Lyn on Tuesday in the race for Group 3 circuit judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit.
Hatcher of Wildwood previously worked as a senior attorney for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Recently, she has worked as a private attorney in Bushnell.
The winner will replace Judge Sandy Kautz, who was eliminated in the primary. She heard family law cases and was based in Citrus County, but the new judge could serve elsewhere in the circuit, which also includes Hernando, Sumter, Lake and Marion counties.
Lyn of Inverness has made two previous tries for a circuit judge job. She is an Air Force veteran who began her legal career in 1997 and opened her own firm four years later.