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Gwinnett State Court Judge Randy Rich has been appointed to the Gwinnett Superior Court by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to a Deal press release issued this afternoon.

Rich is taking the seat vacated by Judge Michael Clark earlier this year. Rich is serving his third term as judge after running for the seat originally. Prior to serving on the state court, Rich practiced general litigation at Randolph G. Rich, P.C.

“I’m very excited. I know it’s going to be a heavy case load and I’m excited to get started,” Rich said in a brief interview. Rich said the governor called him this morning to give him the news.

This was the second time Rich sought the job of superior court judge. He made a short list previously for a seat that was filled by Judge George F. Hutchinson. He also sought a position on the state Court of Appeals in 2011 and did not make that short list, he said.

Rich and three other candidates interviewed at the governor’s office Tuesday afternoon. Teresa D. Hoyt, a federal prosecutor; H. Jeff Lanier, legislative counsel for the Georgia General Assembly; and Gwinnett Magistrate Laura M. Tate were also on the short list submitted by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Rich’s appointment becomes official when he is sworn into office. No date has been set, Rich said.

The Daily Report will have more on this story later this afternoon online and in Friday’s print edition.