MONROE, Ga. — Jeff Foster is going all-in on the judicial seat he qualified to run for last week.
Foster, a Monroe attorney and judge of the Social Circle Municipal Court, wrote the state Judicial Nominating Commission on Friday to say he would not be pursuing a bench seat it’s filling.
The JNC has been called on to vet candidates for the seat now held by Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Ozburn in the Alcovy Circuit.
Ozburn had planned to retire at the end of the year when his term expired, but later decided he’d give up the seat at the end of April. That gives the governor the chance to appoint the next judge from nominees vetted by the JNC.
Thirteen attorneys either were nominated or nominated themselves for the position. The list includes District Attorney Layla Zon, who had planned to run for Ozburn’s seat; and Foster, Henry County prosecutor Chevada McCamy and Covington attorney Bob Stansfield, all of whom are running for the seat now held by Judge Eugene M. Benton.
Foster wrote to Vincent Russo, an Atlanta attorney who leads the JNC, on Friday to say he would not be seeking the appointment to the Ozburn seat. Russo previously told The Walton Tribune he understood some of the other 12 nominees had similar feelings.
“Be advised that I will not be seeking the appointment for which I have graciously been nominated,” Foster wrote. “I will follow my stated intentions and seek to be elected to the position for which I have qualified, and strive to insure Walton County remains appropriately represented on our Superior Court bench, and that this particular seat remains occupied by, and based primarily in, Walton County, as it has been since the circuit was created in 1972.”
Friday was the deadline for the commission to receive application packets.
Currently Newton County residents — Ozburn, Horace Johnson and Ken Wynne — hold three of the five Superior Court seats on the Alcovy Circuit bench. Benton and Chief Judge John M. Ott live in Walton County.