MONROE, Ga. — Walton County attorney Jeffrey L. “Jeff” Foster was elected to the Superior Court bench in a runoff Tuesday.
Foster garnered 52% of the vote in the two-county race over Covington attorney Robert H. “Bob” Stansfield.
Foster did it by running up a huge margin in Walton County, where he lives in Loganville, is a partner in a Monroe practice and serves as the judge of the Social Circle Municipal Court.
With all 21 precincts reporting in Walton County at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Foster had 72.6% of the vote.
Stansfield had just under 65% of the votes in Newton County with all 22 precincts in the door.
Only provisional ballots and military votes remain to be counted in both counties.
“I am humbled by outpouring of support and the trust placed in me by the residents of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit,” Foster said Tuesday night. “I love this place and will strive to leave it better than I found it, and will honor my promise.”
Bob Stansfield waves to passersby outside City Hall in Oxford, Ga., on Tuesday morning, Aug. 11, 2020. Oxford City Hall is a polling place in …
Stansfield told The Walton Tribune he was grateful for the experience.
“I would have never imagined a judicial campaign marked by a pandemic, date changes, a runoff race and the death of a sitting judge,” he said. “I am grateful for the support of all the people who helped my campaign with their time and treasure and those who voted for me. I am especially indebted to my wife and daughter for their encouragement and their work shoulder to shoulder with me over these many months. I also want to thank my law partner who bore a greater load at the law office and was a constant source of encouragement.
“I congratulate Judge-elect Foster tonight on his election and hope that his tenure on the bench is marked with all the virtues that make a great trial judge.”
Foster is in private practice, but previously worked in the Alcovy Circuit district attorney’s office as chief assistant district attorney under Ken Wynne, who now is a Superior Court judge. Foster also worked as a clerk for Chief Judge John M. Ott in the early 1990s.
Foster is a graduate of the University of Delaware and the University of Georgia School of Law.
His victory preserves the traditional split between the two counties that comprise the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. Traditionally the judgeships are split evenly between residents of the two counties, and when there have been an odd number of judges, the larger county — historically Newton — gets the extra judge.
There were three Newton County residents and two from Walton before the death of Judge Horace L. Johnson Jr. of Covington on July 1.
Gov. Brian Kemp will choose Johnson’s successor. Foster will succeed Judge Eugene M. Benton of Monroe on Jan. 1.