James Patterson thanked his family and supporters after securing what he called an upset win over Allen Ritchie for Mobile County Circuit judge.

Patterson, who won the seat with about 54 percent of the vote, said his base of support was his key to victory.

“It was people like these,” he said pointing to the group of supporters. “It was a little bit here and a little bit there.”

(Facebook) James Patterson

(Facebook) James Patterson

He credited his family as well, including his daughter Katie Patterson, his son Ben and especially his wife Annette, who he credited with helping to place campaign signs all over the city.

“I think we both just kept our heads down and kept working,” he said. “I kept saying we were going to have to outwork [Ritchie] and meet more people.”

Patterson believes his military experience as a U.S. Navy aviator resonated with voters and helped lead to success in this race. He said “the fact that I served my country for the first half of my life” stood out to people.

“It must’ve made an impression,” Patterson said.

Patterson won’t have to run in November’s general election and he won’t take current Presiding Judge Charles Graddick’s seat on the bench until January. In the meantime, Patterson said he wants to do a few ride-alongs with Mobile police officers and prepare for the job by sitting in on some cases, while still practicing law full time.

But until then, “I’m going to take a couple days off,” he said. “Tomorrow, I’m going to go out and pull up signs at polling places then I might rake my yard.”