The two survived a three-way general election Nov. 2 to go head to head in Tuesday's runoff.
Tammy Lynn Adkins, who ran as Tamela Lynn Adkins in 2008 for the Court of Appeals, says her 18 years of family law give her an understanding of how court decisions affect individuals from all walks of life. And since roughly one of every three cases the Supreme Court considers involves family law, she is eager to bring her perspective to the seven-member bench.
"There is no one on the bench that has the experience that I have in trying over 1,000 cases," she said.
Additionally, she has a background in business. She built her own commercial-cleaning business, which she sold when she decided to go to law school, and she currently owns an office building that she rents space in to other lawyers.
She counts fellow family law practitioners as her strongest supporters. But in a survey by the State Bar of Georgia, she didn't fare so well. Just 16 percent of the 761 lawyers who know her termed her as "well qualified" while most, 53 percent, graded her "not qualified" to serve as a judge.
That's in contrast to the rating Nahmias got among the 2,339 who said they know his work. Seventy-six percent called him well qualified while only 5 percent said he wasn't qualified at all.
Adkins dismisses the survey, saying just 11 percent of the state's lawyers bothered to participate and that Nahmias sent an e-mail to lawyers - including one to her - urging their support.
The third candidate in the general election, Atlanta attorney Matt Wilson, fared better in the survey than she did and campaigned vigorously across the state but still got fewer votes than Adkins, who didn't campaign at all. Some attribute her success to her place as first on the alphabetical listing of candidates on the ballot.
University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles Bullock said it's possible since studies show being first on the ballot can add 5-6 percentage points. Indeed, Nahmias missed winning outright by just 2 points.
Adkins doesn't know if it helped her or not, noting that anti-incumbent sentiment may have also hurt Nahmias. She was, however, the only woman in the race, and that could have helped.
"There is one woman on the court, and there needs to be more diversity," Adkins said.
Nahmias picked up support from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He has a long list of diverse endorsements, from the Atlanta Tea Party to former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and both the Republican and Democratic nominees for attorney general.
Nahmias has worked for two conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices appointed by GOP presidents, and served as U.S. Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general overseeing appellate cases in Republican administrations.
He gained national attention for prosecuting Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph but also for putting away politicians, from Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell to Savannah legislator Diana Harvey Johnson. Both Wilson and Adkins say he doesn't belong on the court because he's never tried a case in a State Court. However, since his appointment last year by Gov. Sonny Perdue, he's participated in the appeals of hundreds of state-court cases and authored 80 opinions.
Nahmias said he hasn't heard complaints on the campaign trail about his stance on any of those cases. He did hear an Adkins supporter accuse him of voting to cap malpractice awards in an effort to curry favor with Democrats and trial attorneys.
"I never have, and I never will, make a decision based on an election," he said.