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Person of the Year: Samuel Ozburn
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Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Ozburn was disappointed when the governor’s office called to tell him he would not be the next Georgia Supreme Court Justice. However, as a man who values family and community service, Ozburn considers it an honor and a blessing to continue to be able to interpret the law locally.

Ozburn was already one of Newton County’s most recognizable leaders, but 2009 brought him even more accolades in a distinguished career. With nearly 20 years of experience as a lawyer, and nearing 15 now as a superior court judge, Ozburn was a natural candidate for the Georgia Supreme Court position that opened up.

Ozburn made the cut each step of the way, as the field was pared from hundreds of applicants to 38 second round candidates to nine finalists. Unofficially, Ozburn was said to be among the top three candidates after his interview with Gov. Sonny Perdue.

In the end, Ozburn was not selected, but he said he enjoyed and was humbled by the process. But like a true judge, once the process was over, he had moved on to the next challenge and was looking forward to getting back to work.

"It’s an honor to be in the position that I am. The people of Newton County and Walton County have been so gracious and supportive throughout this; it’s something I’ll never forget. It just wasn’t meant to be, and I accept that and will move on across the next bridge," he said. "I feel called; wherever God puts me, I’ll be blessed to be where I am."