ATLANTA (WSAV/AP) – Former Democratic congressman John Barrow says he’s running for a seat on Georgia’s highest court.
Barrow of Athens announced his candidacy Monday for the Georgia Supreme Court seat of retiring Justice Robert Benham. Barrow joins the race a few months after losing a December runoff election in a close 2018 contest for Georgia secretary of state.
“An appellate court depends on the combined experience of its judges to arrive at decisions that are fair and just,” said Barrow in a press release. “When Justice Benham retires, the Supreme Court will lose almost as much experience as the rest of the Court combined. That’s why I’m running – to offer my experience to help maintain the kind of balance we want in our Supreme Court.”
Benham said Friday he plans to retire next year after three decades on the court. He became the court’s first African American justice in 1989. His successor will be chosen at the same time as next year’s general primary election in a nonpartisan election on May 19.
Barrow is a Harvard-educated attorney who spent a decade in Congress before losing his eastern Georgia seat in 2014. He was the last white Democrat from the Deep South to serve in the U.S. House.