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3 named to short list for 5th Superior Court judgeship

Three judges remain in contention for the fifth Superior Court judgeship covering Hall and Dawson counties.

Hall County State Court Judge Larry Baldwin II, Dawson County Magistrate Court Judge Clint Bearden and Northeastern Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Chief Judge Lindsay Burton were on the Judicial Nominating Commission’s short list sent Friday to Gov. Nathan Deal.

The commission, made up of lawyers and judges from across the state, gave the recommendations to Deal after interviewing seven candidates last week.

Deal signed House Bill 138 this year, creating the fifth seat. State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, said the circuit qualified for a fifth judge due to the caseloads.

The governor’s appointment will have a term running from Jan. 1 of next year through Dec. 31, 2020. After that, a nonpartisan election is held in 2020 for a four-year term.

Deal’s office will contact the candidates for interviews.