Judicial selection
Judicial selection (Stock photo)

The governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended he consider three prosecutors and a law firm managing partner to fill a vacant seat on the Macon Superior Court bench. The JNC also suggested a public defender and two municipal court judges for a spot on the Superior Court for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit.

The JNC released its short lists of candidates today, following a round of interviews on Wednesday. Commission members questioned eight applicants to fill the seat of Macon Superior Court Judge S. Phillip Brown, who retired Dec. 31, and nine applicants to fill the vacancy on the Cherokee Circuit Superior Court that will be created by the impending retirement of Judge Shepherd Howell on Feb. 1.

Gov. Nathan Deal will conduct his own interviews of the JNC’s short-listed candidates. Deal typically has not strayed from the JNC short lists when appointing judges.

The JNC’s recommended candidates for the Macon Circuit are:

• Jonathan Alderman, the managing partner of Anderson, Walker & Reichert. He earned his law degree from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1986.

• Verda Colvin, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. She earned her law degree from the University of Georgia was admitted to the bar in 1993.

• Sandra Mason, an assistant district attorney for Bibb County. She earned her law degree from Mercer University and was admitted to the bar in 1995.

• Barbara Parker, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. She earned her law degree from Howard University and was admitted to the bar in 1991.

The finalists for the Cherokee Circuit are:

• Kelley Dial, the chief assistant public defender in Cartersville. She earned her law degree from Georgia State University and was admitted to the bar in 1990.

• M. Suzanne Hayes Smith, the attorney for Gordon County, a judge pro tempore for the Gordon County Juvenile Court and a judge for the city of Calhoun’s Municipal Court. She earned her law degree from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the bar in 1988.

• Harry White, a partner at White, Choate & Watkins and a Municipal Court judge for the cities of Adairsville and Cartersville. He earned his law degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1983.