Georgia peach vote sticker (Photo: Darryl Brooks/


Former Albany District Attorney Ken Hodges defeated plaintiffs’ lawyer Ken Shigley for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals in the highest-ranking judicial campaign among many that ended Tuesday.

Hodges won with nearly 70 percent of the 949,000 votes cast, according to the Secretary of State’s website. Shigley collected 30 percent.

Citizens also voted for judges in 10 contested races for Superior Courts around the state.

In Fulton County, Fani Willis narrowly missed winning a seat outright, collecting almost 49 percent of the votes. She will face Kevin Farmer, who grabbed 31 percent of the roughly 100,000 votes cast, in a July 24 runoff. Bobby Wolf came in third with 20 percent.

Also in Fulton County, Chief Magistrate Cassandra Kirk defeated challenger Louis Levenson, 74 percent to 26 percent.

In DeKalb County, Judge Courtney Johnson defeated challenger Genet Hopewell, 65 percent to 35 percent.

In a race for an open seat, LaTisha Dear-Jackson (38 percent) will face Tunde Akinyele (23 percent) in the runoff. Gina Bernard followed with 17 percent; Nicholas Smith had 9 percent; Kirby Clements Jr. had 7 percent; Roderick Bridges had 6 percent.

In the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Court Judge Tony Baker defeated attorney Benson Chambers, 72 percent to 28 percent.

In Gwinnett County, Tracie Cason took an open seat with 61 percent of the vote. Wesley Person received 20 percent, and B.T. Parker had 18 percent.

In another Gwinnett contest, Tracey Mason will face Veronica Cope in a runoff. Mason had 30 percent of the vote, while Cope had 29 percent. John Burdges, Jason Park and Jon Setzer received 19 percent, 15 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

In the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, Judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. held off challenger Melissa Gifford Hise, 53 percent to 47 percent.

In the Pataula Circuit, Probate Court Judge Henry Balkom (34 percent) will face Charles “Chip” Stewart (30 percent) in a runoff. Megan Lane Connell received 22 percent, and prosecutor Keith Day received 15 percent.

In the Rome Circuit, Kay Ann Wetherington defeated Emily J. Matson, 58 percent to 42 percent.

In the Western Circuit, Lisa Lott unseated Judge Regina Quick, 55 percent to 45 percent, while Judge Eric Wayne Norris barely held off a challenger, prosecutor Allison T. Mauldin, 51 percent to 49 percent.