Tarver gets nod from president

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Ed Tarver

Georgia Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta, has been formally nominated by President Obama to be U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, the White House announced Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Tarver would be the first black to serve in the Southern District post.

"I am thoroughly honored for this opportunity to serve the Southern District of Georgia," Mr. Tarver said Thursday night. He said he learned of his nomination from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

As the nominee, Mr. Tarver would replace Edmund A. Booth Jr., who retired earlier this month. Mr. Tarver said that he does not know when Senate confirmation will take place.

The legislative vacancy Mr. Tarver's nomination creates is expected to inspire a wave of political maneuvering.

The Augusta Chronicle reported in August that state Rep. Hardie Davis was interested in seeking Mr. Tarver's seat, leaving his House District 122 seat vacant. Another potential candidate for the empty Senate seat is Richmond County State Court Solicitor Harold Jones.

If Mr. Davis leaves his House seat, Augusta Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason has expressed interest in it.

"There are so many variables at this point that it's really hard to pin anything down," Lynn Bailey, Richmond County Board of Elections executive director, said in an August interview.

Mr. Tarver would go from representing the core of Richmond County on the state level to being the top federal prosecutor for a district covering 43 counties, stretching from Thurmond Lake to the Florida border with offices in Augusta, Savannah, Statesboro, Brunswick, Dublin and Waycross.

The job pays about $150,000 a year, with oversight of 26 assistant U.S. attorneys -- 19 of them handling criminal cases and seven for civil matters.

Reach Jonathan Overstreet at (706) 823-3708 or jonathan.overstreet@augustachronicle.com.

ABOUT THE NOMINEE

Ed Tarver, of the Augusta law firm Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley, has served as a senator in the Georgia General Assembly since September 2005.

He received a bachelor's degree from Augusta State University in 1981 and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1991.

Between college and law school, he served in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of captain.

After he graduated from law school, Mr. Tarver served as a clerk for U.S. Judge Dudley Bowen Jr.