With 68 percent of precincts reporting, relatively unknown lawyers Sara Doyle and Mike Sheffield led a crowded field of seven candidates vying to succeed Judge John H. Ruffin in the nonpartisan election.
With more than half the ballots tallied, Doyle, who belongs to one of Atlanta’s largest corporate law firms, drew 24 percent of the vote and 23 percent for Sheffield, a DeKalb County attorney who ran for a different seat on the court four years ago.
Trailing badly were Bruce M. Edenfield and former state Sen. Perry J. McGuire, with 10 percent and 8 percent respectively. Edenfield had been rated qualified or well qualified by a the largest percentage of lawyers participating in a State Bar of Georgia poll.
McGuire, who pulled in numerous endorsements from conservative leaders, became one of the more recognizable names in the field by spending nearly $42,000 on advertising as Election Day neared. He had run statewide for attorney general two years ago, but the name recognition didn’t appear to help.
But in a crowded field with little or no press coverage or public attention, the appeals court seat clearly was up for grabs.
Rounding out the field, Tamela L. Adkins had garnered 15 percent, Christopher J. McFadden 13 percent and Michael S. Meyer von Bremen 8 percent.