Circuit Judge Gael Wood has been elected to serve his third six-year term after defeating challenger Cynthia Eckelkamp in the Republican Primary.

Wood, 64, the Division 1 presiding judge, received a total of 12,469 votes, or 63.8 percent, to win Tuesday’s election over former circuit judge Eckelkamp who received 7,066 votes, or 36.2 percent.

The circuit includes Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties.

In Franklin County, Wood received 8,656 votes; and Eckelkamp received 4,639 votes.

In Gasconade County, Wood received 1,991 votes, and Eckelkamp received 1,046 votes. In Osage County, Wood received 1,822 votes and Eckelkamp received 1,381 votes.

Wood does not have a Democratic opponent in the November general election and will begin his new term in January 2013.

“Of course I am honored and flattered that the voters chose to continue to put their trust in me,” Wood told The Missourian. “I promise to do the utmost to provide a fair and impartial forum, apply existing law and treat everyone who comes before me equally.”

Wood and his wife Mary live in Washington. They have one daughter.

“It has been my privilege to serve for 12 years and look forward to continue serving,” Wood added.

He is a graduate of Washington High School, where he was the valedictorian of his class. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in mathematics. He later graduated in the top 10 percent of his class from law school from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Wood began practicing law in Washington in 1975 at a firm in which he eventually became a partner. He had served as municipal judge for both the cities of Washington and Owensville.

He left the practice Jan. 1, 2001, when he was elected to his current position. He ran unopposed in his first re-election bid in 2006.

Wood is one of 11 Missouri judges who has been selected to train in the 2010 course of the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center. That program is funded by the Department of Justice to make scientific and technological resources available to judges throughout the country.

Wood also has been elected by his peers to serve as the presiding judge every two years.

Wood is also a member of the Circuit Judge Association Judicial Resource Allocation Task Force.