Mike Malcom

City attorney Mike Malcom of Monroe, Ga., participates in the organization meeting of the Walnut Grove City Council on Jan. 9, 2020.

MONROE, Ga. — About half of the people who were on the list for consideration the last time the governor needed to choose a judge locally have been nominated again.

The Judicial Nominating Commission has been given the names of 11 local attorneys to consider for succeeding the late Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr.

Johnson served as a Superior Court judge in the Alcovy Circuit (Newton and Walton counties) from 2002 until his death July 1.

The JNC is taking stock of local lawyers for the second time this year. It went through this process in the spring when Judge Samuel D. Ozburn retired and received 13 nominations.

From there, the JNC suggested two women to Gov. Brian Kemp: Loganville attorney Lori B. Duff, who serves as the city’s Municipal Court judge, and District Attorney Layla H. Zon of Covington.

Zon got the governor’s appointment and was sworn in on June 2.

Duff is back on the list for the seat previously held by Johnson, along with a few other familiar names.

Cheveda McCamy, who narrowly missed the runoff for a seat on the Superior Court now held by Judge Eugene M. Benton, is one of the nominees.

McCamy lives in Covington but is a graduate of Social Circle High School. She serves as the chief assistant district attorney of the Flint Judicial Circuit.

Monroe attorney Jeffrey L. “Jeff” Foster, who along with Robert H. “Bob” Stansfield made the runoff for that Benton seat, is also on the JNC list. However, he said he’s focused on the Aug. 11 election.

Other nominees who also were up for consideration in the spring are Anthony S. Carter, the chief public defender of the Alcovy Circuit, and Covington attorney Teri L. Doepke.

The remainder of the list includes:

  • Jennifer Arndt, chief assistant public defender of the Alcovy Circuit
  • John Autry, an attorney practicing in Lawrenceville
  • Hillary Edgar, Covington attorney, Edgar Law Firm
  • Cliff Howard, deputy chief assistant district attorney of Walton County
  • R. Michael “Mike” Malcom, Monroe attorney with Preston & Malcom
  • Stephanie Lindsey, Covington attorney, The Lindsey Firm

Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. For those who were nominated by others, the JNC will request more information if the candidate wishes to be considered.

The JNC will review the applications and forward a list of its top choices to the governor, who can conduct interviews, name the next judge or direct a new search.

Tom Spigolon of the Covington News contributed to this report.

Email: david.clemons@waltontribune.com

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