Former state senator from Dalton and now Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Charles Bethel had a simple answer to a pre-new year question of what to call him, senator or judge? “Charlie works just fine. My mother’s been calling me that all my life.”

Bethel, 40, worked for his mother’s family business for the past decade, heading legal affairs and a host of other functions for J&J Industries, a Dalton carpet and flooring company. Bethel’s maternal grandfather was a co-founder, and his father, Jim Bethel, retired from the company as CEO in 2009 after 30 years there. But it seems the father’s earlier career as an assistant district attorney in the Conasauga Judicial Circuit is what helped guide the son to this point.

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