Closeup of $100 dollar bills

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge John Ellington announced Thursday he has raised more than $500,000 for his campaign to take the open job on the Georgia Supreme Court that will be created by the retirement of Justice Carol Hunstein at the end of the year.

“From the start of this campaign, we’ve aimed to raise enough to communicate effectively with the Georgians who’ll go to the polls May 22,” Ellington said in a news release.

The nonpartisan judicial elections will be held May 22 along with the general primary. Ellington was the only candidate reporting for that race as the grace period closed Wednesday for end of 2017 campaign finance reports. The report shows Ellington has raised $520,362, with $511,810 in cash on hand after itemized expenses.

“We are on target to meet our fundraising and organizational goals,” Ellington said. “I’ve spent the last year listening to voters throughout the state and organizing campaign committees in all of Georgia’s judicial circuits. I’m forever grateful to the leaders in this state who have shown their support to me and this campaign.”

Ellington’s announced supporters include Gov. Nathan Deal, Republican state House Speaker David Ralston and Democratic DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.

With Ellington alone running for the high court, the contest will be for the job he leaves behind. Two candidates have filed finance reports for Ellington’s seat on the Court of Appeals: Kenneth Hodges III and Kenneth Shigley, both trial lawyers who’ve been active in the State Bar of Georgia leadership. Shigley is a former bar president. Hodges is currently president-elect and is a former Dougherty County district attorney.

Shigley is leading in fundraising thus far. He reported raising nearly as much as Ellington thus far: $519,164, with $441,629 in cash on hand.

Hodges reported raising $330,519 thus far, with $276,436 in cash available.