For months, the buzz around the Floyd County Courthouse said Circuit Judge Ray W. Grubbs would not seek reappointment to another eight year term on the bench.

On Tuesday, Grubbs confirmed the buzz. He’s stepping down when his current term ends in March, ending a 16-year tenure on the bench.

Like many retired judges, however, Grubbs will remain available to sit in on cases as a substitute judge.

Grubbs said he is “not ready to quit” completely but will step back from the regular grind of sitting on cases in Floyd and Montgomery Counties.

The search begins now for a new judge, starting with recommendations from the local bar associations and ending with approval by the Virginia General Assembly.