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Laine wins Hall probate judge race
Brook Davidson, right, and Virginia Looper check results in Tuesday night’s Republican primary runoff for Hall County probate judge. Patty Walters Laine defeated Davidson. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

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Hall County probate judge

Brook Davidson 42.1%
Patty Walters Laine 57.9%

What’s next: Laine wins the GOP nomination and faces no Democratic foe in November.

Patty Walters Laine defeated Brook Davidson in Tuesday night’s Republican primary runoff for Hall County probate judge.

Laine captured nearly 58 percent of the vote to Davidson’s 42 percent and faces no opposition in the Nov. 6 general election.

“I’m excited. I feel very thankful to all the people of Hall County,” Laine said. “I’m a little overwhelmed tonight by so much going on. It’s been a long, hard six months of work.”

Davidson, an attorney with Andrew, Merritt, Reilly and Smith in Lawrenceville, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The probate judge is responsible for processing wills, administering estates, appointing guardianships for minors and incapacitated adults, and issuing firearm and marriage licenses.

Laine has been in private practice locally for the last 10 years, handling estate planning and probate cases.

She will serve a four-year countywide term, beginning Jan. 1.

Until then, Laine said she would work on “wrapping up my practice, making sure my clients are taken care of.”

Also, “there’s continuing education for judges,” she said. “There’ll be lots of new probate court judges, and we’ll all go to a session together and get a rundown on what we’re supposed to do.”

Also, she plans to talk to Hall Probate Court employees “and get their ideas of where we need to go and where we’ve been. I’ve got a good relationship with them.”

Laine and Davidson both said they wanted to improve the court’s customer service. Each said they wanted to get rid of the automated answering service, so that residents seeking the court’s services can talk to employees.

They also said they planned to streamline the process for obtaining firearm licenses.