Clint Bearden has been named the fifth Superior Court judge for Hall and Dawson counties.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointment Thursday. The fifth Superior Court judgeship on the Northeastern Judicial Circuit was created by House Bill 138, signed by Deal earlier this year, due to the the circuit’s caseloads.
Bearden, a Dawson County Magistrate Court judge, was one of three names on the short list the Judicial Nominating Commission sent to Deal on Nov. 17. He will start his term Jan. 1 and serve through Dec. 31, 2020. After that, a nonpartisan election will be held in 2020 for a four-year term.
Bearden is also an attorney with the law office of state House Speaker David Ralston.
Also on the short list were Hall County State Court Judge Larry Baldwin II and Northeastern Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Chief Judge Lindsay Burton.
The commission, made up of lawyers and judges from across the state, gave its recommendations to Deal after interviewing seven candidates in November.
An elections watchdog group had asked Deal not nominate Bearden because of his involvement in the 2014 arrest of Nydia Tisdale in Dawson County, stemming from her removal from a Republican campaign event she had been filming. VoterGA co-founder Garland Favorito claimed Bearden made untrue statements during the course of the trial that were contradicted by evidence, including Bearden’s own emails with Republican organizers of the event at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.