Padgett will fill position

Columbia County Chief Magistrate Judge Wade Padgett will be named to the Augusta Circuit's Superior Court bench.

"My feet haven't touched the ground in the last 45 minutes," Judge Padgett said Friday afternoon after receiving a call from Gov. Sonny Perdue informing him of his selection.

The governor said Judge Padgett would be notified later of the date and time he would be sworn in. He will replace Judge Duncan Wheale, who has announced his retirement.

Judge Padgett ran in the July primary unopposed and will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. He will be sworn in as chief magistrate in January but will resign by the effective date of his appointment as Superior Court judge. The judges of the Augusta Circuit will then elect a new chief magistrate.

Judge Padgett, 43, was appointed Columbia County associate magistrate by Chief Magistrate David Hugenin in 1994. He ran for chief magistrate in 2004.

Before going onto the bench, Judge Padgett was an assistant district attorney for District Attorneys Mike Eubanks and then Danny Craig. He left the district attorney's office in mid-1993 and went into private practice with his wife, Alice.

Judge Padgett was chosen over one other finalist on the governor's short list: Augusta attorney E. Freddie Sanders, 58, of the Capers, Dunbar, Sanders & Bruckner law firm.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

THIS STORY WAS FIRST REPORTED ON AUGUSTACHRONICLE.COM AT 2:07 P.M.