2014 Election Qualifying Wrap-Up Part 3: Judicial, Fulton County Races
(APN) ATLANTA — Candidate qualifying for Primary Elections and Nonpartisan Elections [such as judicial races] was held on March 03 through March 07, 2014. Many candidates qualified for a variety of seats.
This article is the third in a three-part series providing a broad overview of the races.
Part one looked at statewide and U.S. Congressional races:
Part two looked at State House and State Senate races:
This part will look at statewide and Fulton County judicial races, as well as Fulton County Commission races.
SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham is running unopposed.
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Keith R. Blackwell is running unopposed.
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines is running unopposed.
COURT OF APPEALS OF GEORGIA
Incumbent Judge Gary B. Andrews is running unopposed.
Incumbent Judge Elizabeth Branch is running unopposed.
Incumbent Judge Sara L. Doyle is running unopposed.
Incumbent Judge Carla McMillian is running unopposed.
Incumbent Judge William Ray is running unopposed.
FULTON COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Incumbent Judge Jerry W. Baxter is running unopposed. He heard one of the cases brought by APN’s News Editor against the City of Atlanta regarding open meetings compliance issues, in 2011. Baxter has also heard cases against Atlanta Public Schools teachers and other officials accused of cheating on students’ test scores.
Incumbent Judge Christopher S. Brasher is running unopposed. Brasher also heard one of the cases brought by APN’s News Editor against the City of Atlanta regarding open meetings, filed in 2010: in particular, the secret vote case that went up to the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Incumbent Judge Thomas R. Campbell is facing challenger attorney Thomas A. Cox Jr.
Incumbent Judge Kelly Amanda Lee is facing challenger attorney Patricia “Pat” Jackson.
In 2013, Atlanta Progressive News reported that Judge Lee recused herself from a case where there appeared to be a conflict of interest:
Incumbent Judge Robert C. McBurney is running unopposed.
Incumbent Judge Craig L. Schwall is running unopposed. He is currently hearing the case of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless.
Three candidates are running for the seat of incumbent Judge Cynthia Wright, who has retired. Those candidates include Shelitha Robertson, Jane Barwick, and Shondeana Crews-Morris.
Robertson has previously challenged former Atlanta City Councilman Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large) in 2009, and ran for the seat currently held by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly Amanda Lee in 2010.
FULTON COUNTY COMMISSION
Following a drastic redistricting and restructuring of the Fulton County Commission by the Republican-led Georgia Legislature in 2012, the Commission will go from having two at-large seats and five district seats, to having only one at-large seat and six district seats.
DISTRICT 1 – JOHNS CREEK AND PART OF ALPHARETTA
Republican, incumbent Liz Hausmann from Johns Creek has no opponent.
DISTRICT 2 – MILTON, ROSWELL, AND PARTS OF ALPHARETTA AND SANDY SPRINGS
This is a newly created seat in a likely Republican district in north Fulton. Two Republicans are facing off in the primary on May 20, 2014. They are Bob Ellis from Milton and Eric B. Broadwell from Roswell.
DISTRICT 3 – NORTH ATLANTA (BUCKHEAD) AND SANDY SPRINGS
Four Republicans are running in the Primary race for the District 3 seat, the seat being vacated by retiring Commissioner Tom Lowe. They are Bernie Tokarz from Atlanta, former Atlanta City Councilman Lee Morris (District 7) from Atlanta, Cory Ruth from Atlanta, and Alexander Palacios from Sandy Springs.
Morris previously ran for Fulton County Chairman in 2006.
John Stoj, a former candidate in 2013 for Sandy Springs City Council District 6, had announced his intent to run for this seat, but apparently changed his mind.
DISTRICT 4 – ATLANTA
Democratic, incumbent Joan P. Garner from Atlanta will face Democratic challenger Eddie Lee Brewster from Atlanta in the Primary. In 2013, Brewster ran for the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education (APS BOE) At-large 9 seat.
DISTRICT 5 – EAST POINT
This is an open likely-Democratic district in south Fulton. Five Democrats from Atlanta will run against each other in the Primary Election, including former APS BOE Member Brenda J. Muhammad (District 1), Johnnie Gordon, Dell Byrd, Kwame Thompson, and Marvin S. Arrington Jr.
In 2013, Byrd ran for the APS BOE District 6 seat.
In 2012, Arrington, Jr., ran for the State House District 62 seat currently held by State Rep. LaDawn (“LBJ”) Blackett Jones (D-Atlanta).
Former State Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta), who said that he was planning on running for the seat, apparently changed his mind. According to a tweet by State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), Long allegedly confronted her on the House Floor regarding her support for Muhammad; threatened to run against her; and followed her around, staring her down; this prompted her to notify Capitol security, she said.
DISTRICT 6 – SOUTH FULTON
The two most progressive members of the Fulton County Commission–Democratic incumbents Bill Edwards (District 7) from Fairburn and Emma Darnell (District 5) from Atlanta–will face each other in the Primary. The two incumbents were drawn into the same district, District 6, as part of the 2012 redistricting.
The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Republican Abraham Watson from College Park in the General Election.
DISTRICT 7 – AT-LARGE – CHAIRMAN
Two more Democratic, incumbents will face each other in the Primary. They are the current Chairman John Eaves from Atlanta, and Commissioner Robb Pitts (District 2) from Atlanta. The Democratic primary winner will face Republican Earl. L. Cooper from Atlanta in the General Election.