The four-year terms for the current judges -- Willie Saunders, Ben Allen and Jennifer McKinzie-- expire in October. They are welcome to reapply, said Chief Superior Court Judge Carlisle Overstreet, but the positions are open to all attorneys who meet the state qualifications.
Those qualifications dictate that candidates should be members of the bar for at least five years, Georgia residents for three years and at least 30 years old. After all of the applications are received, the candidates will be chosen in September by consensus among the eight superior court judges.
Overstreet said there are not any specific qualifications the judges are looking for in candidates beyond those required by law. While the deadline is still about three months away, the judge said they’re “trying to get ahead of the game and see who is interested.”
Saunders is currently running against Overstreet for superior court judge. Attorney Jack Long recently filed a complaint against the state board of elections claiming Saunders’ bankruptcy makes him ineligible for his juvenile court judgeship. That complaint remains outstanding.
A second motion to block a paternity case from being transferred to Saunder’s jurisdiction was dismissed by Superior Court Judge David Roper as a “frivolous and reprehensible attempt to embarrass a sitting judge who has announced his candidacy for elected office.”