Alabama state finance director Jim Main has been tapped by the governor to become a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals effective tomorrow. Assistant state finance director Bill Newton will serve as acting finance director until a replacement for Main is announced. 

“Jim Main’s commitment to public service, his work ethic, his legal background, his character, the unique perspective he’s gained from a diverse background, all these things make him absolutely the best choice for this judgeship,” Gov. Bob Riley said in a release.

Main has been finance director since June 2004. Prior to that, he was senior counsel to Riley. He also was chief of staff and legal adviser for former Gov. Fob James from 1997 until 1999, and also was in private practice.

Riley credited Main with transforming the state’s budget process through the use of an initiative called SMART, for specific, measurable, accountable, responsive, and transparent governing.

“With SMART governing, Jim Main brought an unprecedented level of accountability and transparency to the state’s budget process,” Riley said. “State government is more honest and open because of his work.”

Main received a degree in pharmacy from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Alabama. He is filling the unexpired term of another judge and said he would run for a full term next year.

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